Population Health

Helping hospitals create community partnerships

A new guide from the American Hospital Association’s Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative highlights promising practices for creating effective and sustainable hospital-community partnerships to build a culture of health. Based on interviews with hospital, health system and community leaders from 25 diverse communities, the guide shares lessons learned in: identifying community health needs and reaching consensus on priorities; identifying potential partners; creating sustainable partnership structures; overcoming obstacles; and assessing interventions and partnerships. Developed by the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust affiliate with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the free resource is available at hpoe.org/effectivepartnerships.

Rural Health

Hospitals to test integrated care models for rural areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has chosen 10 critical access hospitals in Montana, Nevada and North Dakota began for a three-year demonstration that will test new models of integrated, coordinated health care in sparsely populated rural counties. The Frontier Community Health Integration Project Demonstration will test whether enhanced critical access hospital payments for telemedicine, skilled nursing/nursing facility and ambulance services improve health outcomes and reduce Medicare expenditures. For more information, visit www.cms.gov.

Telemedicine

Job-based telehealth benefits rise, survey says

Nine in 10 large employers will make telehealth services available next year to employees in states where it is allowed, up from 70 percent this year, and virtually all will offer telemedicine by 2020, according to the latest annual survey by the National Business Group on Health. The Large Employers’ 2017 Health Plan Design Survey is based on responses from 133 U.S. employers offering coverage to more than 15 million Americans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently clarified on its website that states are not required to submit a separate state plan amendment for Medicaid coverage or reimbursement of telemedicine services if they reimburse for the services the same way and same amount that they pay for face-to-face services, visits or consultations.