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Marc H. Bennett is president and chief executive officer at HealthInsight. As CEO, Mr. Bennett is responsible for all of HealthInsight’s contracts and activities.


Nationally, Marc is a past president and chairman of the board of directors of the American Health Quality Association, the trade association for Medicare Quality Innovation Networks – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIO). Additionally, Marc serves on the Quality Alliance Steering Committee, a body that coordinates federal and private sector quality initiatives in the United States. Marc is a frequent contributor to national policy forums in health information technology, health information exchange and improvement. He is also a member of the National Advisory Board for the Center for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform and serves as a board member for the Network for Regional Health Improvement.


Regionally, Marc currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the Utah Health Information Network, the community-based health information network and clinical health information exchange (cHIE). He also serves on the advisory board for the Utah Health Insurance Exchange. In Nevada, Marc served as vice-chairman of the Governor’s Health Information Technology Blue Ribbon Task Force, and has served previously as a non-voting public member of the Nevada State Legislature’s Interim Healthcare Committee. He also served previously as board chairman for the Shared Health Information Network of Nevada and as a member of the Nevada Patient Safety Committee.

Inspiring Leaders in an Environment of Change

Young Adults

Rapid organizational change can be both exciting and unsettling at the same time. HealthInsight has experienced its share of this kind of rapid change in the past few years—so much so that exciting and unsettling seems to describe just about every day around here. We've seen:

  • Significant corporate growth, most recently by expanding our programs into Oregon and into End-Stage Renal Disease work.
  • Challenging new initiatives on top of our already large portfolio of work for the Medicare program—including but not limited to helping improve the quality of care in Indian Health Service hospitals across the nation, integrating behavioral health screening into primary care and preparing Medicare providers for value-based payment.
  • Regionalization of several of our programs, requiring new ways of engaging stakeholders and coordinating regional activities while maintaining essential local focus.
  • Persistent and pervasive uncertainty and change in the health care environment we seek to influence.

This rapid change in our organization and in the world is very likely to continue into the future as well. But the pace and intensity of efforts to keep up and reinvent our organization has led at times to "change fatigue," similar to the burnout that many of our stakeholders have reported experiencing as they implement multiple, simultaneous and sometime overlapping quality improvement activities.

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Growing HealthInsight in Oregon

Portland Waterfront

Today more than ever, success in the quality improvement (QI) business depends on collaboration as well as community-focused teamwork. HealthInsight has a long history of working with health care providers, community partners and patients in Nevada, New Mexico and Utah to improve health and health care.

The past two years have brought us the opportunity to expand our services and expertise, build new partnerships and collaborate with health care leaders in another key western state: Oregon.

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Looking Up to Reach the Stars

Hiker

HealthInsight, like many organizations working toward the triple aim of better health care and better health at a lower cost, has recognized the need to stretch ourselves beyond comfortable goals and targets. As we work with health care providers and other community stakeholders, it will take truly innovative and transformative effort to achieve the goals we seek. Just as we ask providers of health care in our communities to transform their work to improve care and reduce cost, we also ask the same of ourselves. How can we do our work in a way that gets fundamentally different results, extraordinary results, with the same amount of funding, or even with fewer resources? We believe what is required is to step back and look at the big picture -- stepping away from the way we usually have done things to be able to imagine new ways this work can be accomplished.

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Health Care Payment Reform and the Future of Value-Based Payment

Hand giving money from the monitor

Health care payment reform, including moving away from fee-for-service payment models and toward pay-for-value payment models, has been in the media recently and has been a focus here at HealthInsight for quite some time. Now a concrete timeline for change has been introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and this timeline could be the driving force behind a major change in the way doctors are paid—a critical ingredient of sustainable system redesign.

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Working Together to Create Lasting Change

Last month, HealthInsight and 13 other Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contractors began work on a new five-year contract with CMS. (See the map for all of the new Quality Innovation Networks - Quality Improvement Organizations, or QIN-QIOs, in place nationally.) We are working in a region that includes Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. All of these organizations have a weighty and meaningful charge, working together with CMS. We are asked to organize quality improvement efforts at the community level to bring about triple-aim results across our regions. Ultimately, we have been asked to transform health care in our respective communities and across the nation. The initial expectations are less grand and more focused, but the long-term aim is clear. With new flexibility granted by Congress, CMS is investing hundreds of millions of dollars through this program to support communities in the wide-scale redesign of the American health and health care systems.

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Expanding Our Geographic Impact in Quality Improvement, Part Two

Partnership
Recently, HealthInsight brought together existing Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives (RHICs) and leading improvement support partners both regionally and nationally to bid on the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) contract from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Our three HealthInsight states of Nevada, New Mexico and Utah partnered with like-minded organizations in California, Ohio and Oregon. These partners include the Health Collaborative/HealthBridge in Ohio, Pacific Business Group on Health’s California Quality Collaborative and the Hospital Quality Institute in California, and Acumentra Health and Oregon Health Care Quality Corporation (Q Corp) in Oregon. Each of these partners is nationally recognized and exceptionally well-positioned in the central improvement discussions at the state level. If HealthInsight and our partners are successful in this entire region, we will be able to positively influence the health and health care of one-sixth of the country’s Medicare beneficiaries as well as the rest of the population in these states.
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Expanding Our Geographic Impact in Quality Improvement

Changes Ahead Sign

HealthInsight recently submitted the largest proposal in its history: a six-state proposal for the next contract cycle from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality improvement activities. Award announcements are expected this spring and summer. At HealthInsight, as I'm sure it has been for other current Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) and new QIO bidders, the last few months have been a whirlwind. Since I last wrote about the future of the QIO program, we have read and digested the CMS request for proposal (RFP); adapted our pre-RFP strategy to respond to the reality of the CMS plan; sought out and found a capable bidder in the Beneficiary & Family Centered Care RFP process who was interested in including our case review staff and other resources in their bid; developed partnerships and strategies for bidding on the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) RFP in six states; invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in staff time in the process; and wrote, edited and ultimately delivered 53 pounds of proposal documents and discs to CMS.

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A New Landscape for the QIO Program

iStock 000004068859MediumIn my previous post, we outlined the available evidence of some big changes ahead for the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program. This week, I'd like to continue with that topic and enumerate a few of these changes and their potential impact on the Medicare quality landscape. Among the many changes planned, let me highlight just four that I think will change the landscape of the QIO program and of community-based quality improvement generally for the generation ahead.

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Impending Changes for the Medicare Quality Improvement Program

iStock 000003281420MediumOn August 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program will begin activities under its' 11th Statement of Work (SOW), which includes the new improvement initiatives for the next QIO contract cycle. The QIO program represents the largest sustained investment in quality assurance and quality improvement in our nation's history. Through this program, CMS has created an active and substantial field force of local experts working in every state to improve health care quality at the community level. Over the nearly 30 year history of this program, the "work" included within the SOW has changed dramatically—from case review, to quality improvement, to health information technology, to care transitions, etc. QIOs have adapted their staffing and developed new skills to respond to the changing clinical science, to the changing improvement science, and to the changing definition of the roles of CMS in health and heath care. However, the changes anticipated in the 11th SOW are by far the most significant yet in the history of this important program.

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