R.I. Primary Care Reform Initiative Changes Name to Reflect Broader Commitment to Transforming Health Care Delivery

PROVIDENCE, RI – The R.I. Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative, one of the first patient-centered medical home initiatives in the country, today announced that it is changing its name to the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island (CTC) to reflect its commitment to transforming the broader delivery of health care throughout the state – beyond its current adult primary care focus.

“We know that primary care needs to address the whole person,” said Debra Hurwitz, MBA, BSN, RN, co-director of CTC. “We are expanding our focus to include behavioral health and are piloting Community Health Teams that act as an extension of the primary care team, providing outreach and social support to high risk patients.”

CTC supports primary care practices transforming into patient-centered medical homes, a model of primary care adopted by practices that helps improve care quality, access and management, and focuses on team-based, comprehensive and preventative care. Practices that join CTC participate in a four-year contract that supports practice transformation, identifies target goals for care delivery and outcomes, and provides incentives to practices that meet these goals.

Recently, CTC has introduced several new programs and efforts to further improve primary care, including work to integrate behavioral health care and new Community Health Teams to better support patients with multiple medical, behavioral health and social needs. CTC is also working to incorporate additional initiatives, such as end-of-life care, pediatrics, new patient engagement and health technology and more.

“This initiative has become an integral part of our state’s health care delivery system,” said Kathleen C. Hittner, MD, Health Insurance Commissioner and Co-Chair of the CTC Executive Committee. “With insurers investing more in primary care, CTC is finding more efficient and effective ways to deliver the care Rhode Islanders need.”

In 2008, the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) launched the R.I. Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative, now CTC, to expand and improve primary care infrastructure, promote the adoption of patient-centered medical homes and electronic health records, and implement payment reform. In addition to OHIC, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services co-convenes CTC, which has now transitioned from a state-grown initiative to a formally incorporated non-profit organization, governed by a CTC Board of Directors led by Thomas A. Bledsoe, MD, FACP.

“What launched initially as a small pilot program that primarily impacted patients with chronic conditions, like diabetes, has grown substantially to now benefit a broad scope of patients,” said Pano Yeracaris, MD, MPH, co-director of CTC. “We’ve moved beyond what many know primary care to be, and with a deeper understanding, are incorporating new strategies to better integrate care, improve health and control costs.”

With the mission of leading the transformation of primary care in Rhode Island, CTC brings together the key health care stakeholders, from health insurers to hospital CEOs, needed to implement, evaluate and spread effective models of primary care, including how to pay for it, how to sustain it, and how to make the quality of care accountable.

Data released in May 2014 showed participating CTC practices collectively met every targeted patient heath outcome, including areas of weight management, diabetes, high blood pressure and tobacco cessation, and practices are showing improvement over time in all of the targeted areas. Further, participating practices showed increased positive patient experience ratings, and more experienced practices saw reduced inpatient hospitalization rates.

About the Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island

The Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island (CTC), formerly the Rhode Island Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative, is working with all major health care stakeholders to transform primary care in Rhode Island. Co-convened by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, CTC promotes the patient-centered medical home, a model of primary care that is patient-focused, coordinated, accessible and team-based. The model focuses on prevention, wellness and appropriate treatment, which will lead to improved care, lower costs and better health outcomes for Rhode Island. For more information, visit http://www.pcmhri.org/.

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