Tag Archives: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

OPTIMISTIC program reduces avoidable hospitalizations

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: SalFalko via Flickr

A nursing home demonstration project in Indiana has reduced avoidable hospitalizations among residents by a third, according to a recently released independent evaluation of OPTIMISTIC, (Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care).

OPTIMISTIC is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) demonstration program designed to improve chronic disease management and boost staff education and training.

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Reporter discusses what fueled her Medicaid reporting

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Rachel S. O'Hara/Sarasota Herald-TribuneJennifer tries to pay bills and go through some paperwork while her son, David, 2, competes for her attention.

Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara/Sarasota Herald-TribuneJennifer tries to pay bills and go through some paperwork while her son, David, 2, competes for her attention.

Reporters can find it daunting to cover Medicaid, the huge state-administered federal program charged with providing health care benefits to more than 70 million Americans.

Maggie Clark embraced the challenge. In recent months, her Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has delved into many aspects of Florida’s troubled Medicaid system. Continue reading

Gauging ‘success’ at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

lightbulbThe Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, created by the Affordable Care Act, is trying new ways of delivering health care and testing new incentives and payment models. Some ideas are likely, even expected, to fail. Others may lead to new ways of delivering higher quality care for less money.

CMMI also is supposed to help spread new ideas so they’ll take root in the real world. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to expand approaches that reduce spending – and halt those that do not. This is a more flexible approach than officials had with “demonstration projects” prior to the ACA.

The agency’s website is a goldmine of health care innovation. Read more about what CMMI is tasked with doing, how it will do it and how the success or failures of its projects will be determined in this new tip sheet.