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January 2019 Update from the CEO

By Alisha Fehrenbacher

Dear Elevate Health board members, community councils, stakeholders and staff:

We are almost through the first month of the year and I am eager to share updates on our work at Elevate Health.

We were honored to host Dr. Joseph Conte from the New York Staten Island Performing Provider System (PPS) and Jim Diegel from Howard University Medical Center to learn more about the cutting-edge population health strategy that Dr. Conte has deployed. Dr. Conte and Jim were able to spend time with our Board of Trustees, local provider teams, and our team at Elevate Health. Meg, and I are continuing to collaborate with Dr. Conte to develop a population health strategy roadmap for Pierce County, supported via Elevate Health, and will have more to share next month. I will be asking several community providers and partners to work with me and my executive team to support our regional strategy development. It is a fantastic opportunity to leverage Health Care Transformation to build lasting infrastructure in our region, informed by this policy framework shared by Dr. Conte!

As many of you know, Elevate Health received full approval on our Implementation Plan submission to the Health Care Authority for our work in 2019. I am so proud of the job we have done together as a community to develop work that is so robust and impactful. This approval ensures that Elevate Health will receive the maximum amount of funding we are eligible for in the coming year. And to add an extra element of “wow!”, Elevate Health has finalized accountability contracts with providers in our county that cover over 95 percent of the Medicaid population. It is a tremendous achievement and I wish to thank our partners for committing to health care transformation in both three-year and targeted deliverable contracts!

Integrated Managed Care launched in Pierce County on January 1! There are so many people to acknowledge for this achievement. The Pierce County Council, the Pierce County Executive’s Office, the Pierce County Integration Board, our amazing providers, the four Managed Care Organizations (Molina, United, Amerigroup, and Coordinated Care), our region’s new Administrative Services Organization – Beacon Health Options, and the Health Care Authority. The lift to pull this off was incredible. We have been monitoring our Early Warning System and, so far, we have only seen minor issues that have been addressed quickly.

I also wish to thank Angie Treptow, one of our clinical improvement advisors on Elevate Health's Strategic Improvement Team, for coordinating the entire effort. We could not have done this without her commitment to the community and tireless dedication to detail. Finally, I am proud that Elevate Health contracted with ten behavioral health organizations in the county to provide up to $1 million to stabilize funding during this delicate transition period. Whole-person health care is here in Pierce County and we are thrilled to see what the outcomes will be for our region!

Elevate Health, in partnership with the AIMS Center at the University of Washington, is launching the Whole Person Care Collaborative on Tuesday, January 29th. The AIMS Center focuses on Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions with communities. In this 12-month learning collaborative, ‘whole-person care’ is defined as integrating primary and behavioral health care services so that each patient can receive the right care at the right time.

The Collaborative will engage seven care teams throughout the region in a year-long collaborative that leads the teams toward developing warm handoffs, data-driven decision making, and standardized assessments for patients. We look forward to sharing learnings and both small and big wins as we begin to intensively pilot this innovative model.

The 2019 Legislative Session has started in Olympia. I was able to speak with the Pierce County legislative delegation on January 23, along with Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg from the Pierce County Council, and Comprehensive Life Resources CEO, Kim Zacher. We spoke about the committed efforts of our regional partners together working on transformational improvements through Elevate Health, Integrated Managed Care, the Community Resiliency Fund, our Community HUB, and impacts of Western State Hospital activities in the county. We will be staying in frequent contact with our legislators, in collaboration with our local partners, to ensure that we provide information and feedback to our legislators as requested.

The last item for this month is an update on the communications strategy work that Elevate Health has been focused on for the last five months. One of the key decisions we needed to make was changing the name of Pierce County ACH to something that said more about who we are and what our role is in the community. I am very pleased to report that the Board of Trustees selected the name “Elevate Health” at the board meeting this month. We think the name says so much about what we, together, wish to do in Pierce County – working together to make sure whole person health is a priority – it is about health not just health care!! I also want to thank the Community Advisory Council, and the RHIP for providing feedback during this process. More will be coming on this over the next few months ahead of the final change which should happen sometime in the Spring.

If you have an opportunity, you should try to free up your calendar to join the Communities Joined in Action, national conference “Partnering to Build Equitable Communities: Engage, Equip, Inspire”. This conference is being held in Seattle, Washington, April 24-26, 2019. We are so excited about participating in this national community-led conference, our entire Community Advisory Council along with me and several of my team will be attending and actively engaged in this exciting event. For more information, please check out the following link: https://www.cjaonline.net/2019-conference/

In closing, next month I will update you on our continued Community Health work, our new role as a Health Homes Lead in Pierce County, an update on the Care Continuum Network which includes the Pathways HUB and our Complex Care Continuum, and more. Please let me know if you have any suggested topics and I will make sure we cover them!

In service to our region,

Alisha

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