CEO Update: Weather

CEO Update: Weather

Weather! Now that I have your attention, everyone loves to talk about the weather, right?  Since I think that’s right, I’ll start with “Bomb Cyclone.” Where have I been or is this just a fancy word for Blizzard?  Anyways, I’m thankful that the Bomb Cyclones did not impact our Forum Conference that occurred April 3-5 and that I had the opportunity to visit with and catch up with many of you and talk about much more than the weather.  I wanted to officially thank and recognize all of you that attended the Forum for your attendance, participation and most importantly for your service to our rural communities.  I’d also like to thank all our sponsors, exhibitors and speakers, with a special thank you to Governor Polis and Lt. Governor Primavera for making the time to speak to those of you living and working in rural communities about their priorities for healthcare in Colorado.  A special thank you goes to Chris Underwood and Kim Bimestefer and the staff from HCPF that took the time to hear the opportunities for improvement with Medicaid and engaged in meaningful conversations that help our rural communities serve some of the most in need Coloradoans.

For CRHC, the Forum is first in a series of in-person events coming your way.  On the horizon, we are excited to be facilitating a CAH Quality Network meeting, CAH Billing and Coding Certification Boot Camps, iCARE Learning sessions, Safety Net Clinic Week, the HIT Rural Healthcare Innovation meetings, the Annual Rural Health Conference, and National Rural Health Day.

CRHC will be celebrating the 10th year of our iCARE Program this fall.  The three primary goals of the Improving Communications and Readmissions (iCARE) program are to improve communications in transitions of care, maintain low readmission rates and improve clinical processes. In 2018, iCARE communities worked on developing Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFAC) and reducing inappropriate Emergency Department visits.  For PFACs, the goals range from starting a PFAC to defining quality improvement projects for existing PFACs.

Thus far, CAHs, RHCs and their participating communities have achieved:

Clinics –

  • Controlling High Blood Pressure (NQF #0018) – 59% as of February 2019
  • Hemoglobin A1c Poor Control (>9.0%) (NQF #0059) – 21% as of February 2019
  • Diabetic Patients with HBA1c test performed – 91% as of February 2019

Hospitals –

  • Percent of Readmissions for Same/Similar Diagnosis – 3.5% as of February 2019
  • CRHC has been working with iCARE hospitals on examining the low severity levels of Evaluation and Management codes – analysis of the data shows the main diagnoses of those cases are cough, fever, acute upper respiratory infections, and constipation.

While the iCARE Program has achieved many amazing milestones over the years, we will be sunsetting the program at the end of February 2020.  The exciting part of this change will be the launch of a new opportunity called the Colorado Rural Sustainability Program.  Stay tuned in the coming months to learn more.

Thank you for allowing CRHC the opportunity to serve as your State Office of Rural Health and Rural Health Association.

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