Salter HealthWatch Summer 2014 E-Newsletter

September 9, 2014
Salter Healthcare Team

Keynote Speakers From Lahey Healh ACO
Kevin H. Hoppe, left, and Dr. Bernard Bettencourt, right, were featured speakers at Salter HealthCare's Annual Physicians' Meeting and Dinner on March 27.

Salter HealthCare Hosts Annual Physicians' Meeting and Welcomes Keynote Speakers From Lahey Health ACO

Dr. Bernard Bettencourt and Kevin H. Hoppe, Medical Director and Vice President, respectively of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center's Accountable Care Unit, presented an overview of Challenges in Moving Forward in Accountable Care at Salter HealthCare's Annual Physicians' Meeting and Dinner held at the Burlington Marriott on March 27.

Hoppe began the discussion with a review of the evolving reimbursement and market trends that have necessitated a greater focus by providers on delivering value.

According to Hoppe, "Providers are facing new demands from three customers - employers, payors and patients. Employers and payors are looking to providers to control costs while concurrently proving they can also manage a population and deliver quality care. Payors are shifting risk to providers in new contract models that reward population efficiency with additional incentives for quality metrics that measure the effectiveness of the process of care delivery, the outcomes resulting from those processes, and the satisfaction of the patients receiving the care."

Today's patients are becoming significantly more price-sensitive and have more demands with respect to provider access. Many patients have new benefit plans that are consumer directed, or have high deductibles that result in new ways of shopping for health care services. Providers are responding with new types of service delivery models including urgent care, electronic or telephone access, and concierge type (on-demand) care.

Referring providers are looking to specialists and hospitals to have high-quality outcomes, as well as good communication, including electronic access to patient information. Many referring providers have risk contracts with payors that incent those providers to manage utilization differently. These providers are looking to appropriately manage utilization through preventative care, or more directed referrals. They are also looking to support the same new types of service delivery model that patients are demanding.

Dr. Bettencourt gave a brief review of population health management concepts including the three foci of value-based care: improving the health of the population, improving the patient experience with care, and reducing the per capita cost of care. He also discussed the accountable care concepts of risk stratification in the population, as well as the different techniques providers use to manage patients at high clinical risk, patients with rising clinical risk, and patients at low clinical risk. Dr. Bettencourt's discussion provided a detailed description of how Lahey Health is positioning itself throughout the care continuum to respond to these new demands as well as the creation of its Accountable Care Unit (ACU) to establish a culture of leadership in population-based care. Detail programs in the ACU include the physician advisor program, ambulatory and transitional care management, and pharmacy management. He concluded with a discussion around the current fragmentation that exists in health care, even for some systems that have embraced population health management.

A lively discussion followed with clinicians in attendance, many of whom related their experiences in transforming their care delivery practices.


Therapists Now Offer VRT

Salter HealthCare Therapists Now Offer VRT

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is an exercised-based program performed by Physical and Occupational Therapists for patients with damaged vestibular organs. In patients with this condition, the brain can no longer rely on these damaged organs for accurate information on equilibrium and motion. VRT helps treat existing deficits and teaches patients to compensate for dizziness, vertigo and balance problems.

VRT is designed for patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular hypofunction, labrynthitis and vestibular neuritis. Trained therapists perform a complete evaluation to determine treatment regime and can perform specific clinical maneuvers to reposition otoliths out of semi-circular canals of the inner ear.

VRT is a successful program when it is customized for each patient to include head, body and eye exercises to be performed in the clinical setting and at home. Patients are taught visual stability, postural, strengthening and balance exercises to assist in their recovery. The goal is to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system to coordinate this information with visual and proprioceptive input.

Salter HealthCare is currently developing expertise in the area of Vestibular Rehabilitation and numerous staff therapists have successfully completed the training.


Lahey Cancer 5K Walk

Salter HealthCare Sponsors Lahey Health's 2014 Cancer 5K Walk & Run

Over 100 Salter HealthCare staff and family members participated in this years Lahey Health 5K Cancer Walk & Run in Burlington on June 7. Salter HealthCare was a presenting sponsor of the event, which raised nearly $250,000 for the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center.