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November 2014

New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality Tackles Tough Healthcare Issues at Albuquerque Conference

Albuquerque, NM -- How do you get hospital CEOs, New Mexico lawmakers, state officials, health plan operators, nurses, doctors and even private employers to work on the necessary, but not always easy to tackle, issues of healthcare quality improvement, transparency and payment reform?

It is a challenge the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality has been working on since 2009, and at a conference on Thursday in Albuquerque, they delivered a snapshot of how consumers have benefited from their efforts as well as the next steps for the group.

“It is more than a conversation, we have seen results,” Patricia Montoya, director, New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality said to the 60-plus attendees during her morning welcome.

“We have been driving change in healthcare in New Mexico,” Montoya said. “This has been challenging, it has taken time, and we have had some success and laid a foundation. The coalition has been the meeting place for those who receive, pay and provide healthcare focusing on quality and value, public reporting, transparency and value based payment.”

“We have created an environment of transparency, bringing stakeholders together – people who didn’t always work together,” Margy Wienbar, executive director, HealthInsight New Mexico, told those in attendance. “We have to do this together. We have a path for quality efforts, a vision that all of us agree to of ‘what is good healthcare?’ We have also been making sure the system works for everyone.”

“I urge us to continue these conversations,” Wienbar said. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has given us a boost and now we need to take that energy and effort and invest in it ourselves and our state.”

Hospital officials from Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Lovelace Healthcare Systems and University of New Mexico Hospitals participated in panel discussions that shared initiatives and perspectives of their current efforts to improve the quality and value propositions related to community care, addressing both successes and challenges. This included highlighting a newly developed community Transitions of Care collaborative representing payers, providers , policy makers, vendors and hands-on caregivers focused on the belief that all stakeholders serving in the healthcare arena in our communities must begin working together to manage patients across all levels of care, throughout all area healthcare systems.

“Providing information where it is needed, to who needs it, and at the time it is needed is essential to improve the quality and efficiency of our local healthcare system” Allison Kozeliski, RN, Clinical Quality Improvement Manager for the coalition said. “By providing a common space and a vision of transparency that breaks down individual organization silos, this collaborative is addressing and leading both the dialogue and the action that can achieve better care, lower costs and decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions.”

Sam Shalala, project manager, New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality, highlighted the Coalition’s efforts to promote payment reform, including bundled payments for specific procedures. He touched on the importance of data and that the fee for service to value based care redesign is, “not going away.”

“It’s important to have a neutral body to bring everyone together to diversify provider contracts, lower administrative complexity, long term incentives, and identification of models that allow for adoption,” Shalala said.

Other speakers and panel members focused on payment reform, member rewards programs, hospital quality, improvement incentives, reduction of non-emergency use of the emergency room, tele-health and tele-medicine.

The employers group, represented by Sandia National Laboratories, The City of Albuquerque and Albuquerque Public Schools also voiced concerns including costs of healthcare plans, employee wellness plans, health management and disease management clinics initiatives.

Participants spent time in a break out session and came together with suggestions for continuing the Coalition.

For more information about the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality and its work, visit www.nmhealthcarequality.org. For more information on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, visit http://www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf/program-areas/quality-equality.html.

News Release (PDF)

Photos from the November 2014 Conference:

An initiative of the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Quality and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with additional funding provided by HealthInsight New Mexico