Your Weekly Briefing, Health In Rhode Island, Jan. 24

Jan 24, 2017

Credit RIPR file photo

What’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Jan. 24

SLATER: Eleanor Slater Hospital has a new CEO: Cynthia Huether brings 25 years of behavioral health care experience to the job. Gov. Gina Raimondo has called for a turnaround of the hospital, where an independent report found people in the top leadership positions lacked the proper training and experience.

LANDMARK: Prime Healthcare has applied to convert Landmark Medical Center into a nonprofit hospital – which it was before Prime acquired it. The process requires state health official approval. Prime officials say it’s in the best interest of the hospital and the community, and that their Foundation will bolster the community hospital should it fall on hard times again.

DASHBOARD: Providence is participating in the launch of the City Health Dashboard, an online data visualization tool made possible through efforts from the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine, NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and the National Resource Network. The website presents 26 measures related to health across five areas: health outcomes, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. The Dashboard is available at and can be expanded to other cities in the future.

ACA: Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner Dr. Kathleen Hittner has sent a letter to Lamar Alexander, Chairman, United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions urging him to keep the Affordable Care Act strong and intact. She writes: “The ACA has worked in Rhode Island and we have a remarkable story to tell. As Rhode Island’s Health Insurance Commissioner, I am, indeed, on the front lines of ACA implementation in our state. I lead Rhode Island’s Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC). Affordability and consumer protection are my agency’s top priorities. My agency conducts comprehensive reviews of insurance premiums and plan designs and oversees the ACA’s valuable consumer protection provisions. ACA funding built our comprehensive rate review program which has saved Rhode Island consumers and businesses nearly $220 million since 2012.”

BROWN: Brown University’s Executive Master in Healthcare Leadership program has a new academic director: Dr. Peter Hollmann.

THUNDERMIST: Thundermist and The Providence Center have collaborated on a new Integrated Health Home program at Thundermist Health Center. The program, located at Thundermist’s South County facility in Wakefield, is focused on providing high-quality treatment to adults enrolled in Medicaid and dealing with serious mental illness. The Health Home model is a team-based clinical approach that provides coordination of services and a specialized treatment plan based on a client’s individual needs.

ACO: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that Care New England’s Integra Community Care Network will participate in the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model. Integra has been participating in CMS’s payment and delivery reform as a certified Medicare Shared Savings Program with approximately 19,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Its participating provider network includes the Rhode Island Primary Care Physician Corporation (RIPCPC), Care New England Health System (CNE), South County Health System, and their physicians. The CMS website describes the Next Generation ACO Model as “an initiative for ACOs that are experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients. It will allow these provider groups to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward than are available under the current (models). The goal … is to test whether strong financial incentives for ACOs, coupled with tools to support better patient engagement and care management, can improve health outcomes and lower expenditures” for patients. In August 2016, CMS reported that Integra had realized savings of nearly $4 million on total health care spending of slightly more than $152 million.

UHIP: Kenneth Brindamour has been named the new UHIP IT Project Manager for the next six months. Brindamour will have authority over IT project improvement and resources. Under Acting DHS Director Eric Beane, the UHIP project manager will be responsible for developing a technical diagnosis and turnaround plan within 30 days and managing Deloitte’s contract and operations. Brindamour, who most recently was Senior Vice President of Service Delivery at Atrion, Inc., has experience overseeing large IT projects and budgets, according to the Department of Administration.