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Who We Are 
HCIF is an independent nonprofit organization that drives high-value health care
through stakeholder collaboration and targeted quality improvement initiatives.
Addressing Food Insecurity in Southeastern Pennsylvania 
(COACH) is a collaborative sponsored by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and facilitated by HCIF to improve community health in southeastern Pennsylvania.  COACH recognizes that having access to sufficient nutritious food is a social determinant of health that directly affects overall health status.  At the end of November, HAP issued a press release to raise awareness regarding preliminary implementation of COACH’s Healthy Food Access Pilot.  This collaborative pilot program involves seven hospital systems – with the support of community-based organizations, public health leaders, and insurers – that work together to 1) screen patients in the Philadelphia area for food insecurity, and 2) refer those in need to resources in the community. Over 3,000 patients have been screened in the initial phase of the pilot, and more than one in five people screened were found to be food insecure.  Participating COACH hospitals refer these patients to community partners who provide direct food assistance and connect patients with benefits programs that help to alleviate food insecurity.

Three COACH workgroups also met in late November and early December to discuss advocacy for nutrition assistance programs, expanding partnerships with community-based organizations, and designing follow-up mechanisms to effectively measure outcomes among patients screened for food insecurity.  Two workgroups, focused on implementation science and community resources, will discuss how to align their priorities in the future at a joint meeting in mid-December.  This meeting will take place at the EAT Café, a nonprofit, pay-what-you-can restaurant space managed by the Center for Hunger-Free Communities and the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management at Drexel University.  The next full COACH collaborative meeting will be held in mid-January.
Contact Kelsey Salazar for More Information
Palliative Care Program Wrap-Up
HCIF hosted the fourth and final Palliative Care webinar on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, which featured speaker Patricia Bomba, MD, MACP, a nationally and internationally recognized palliative care and end-of-life expert.  Dr. Bomba currently serves as the Vice President and Medical Director of Geriatrics for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. During the webinar, she described how New York State has been successful in digitally advancing MOLST, NY’s POLST Paradigm Program, with eMOLST, a secure web-based application that combines an on-line form completion system and a registry. 
The Palliative Care Collaborative will conclude at the end of December 2017 and HCIF would like to thank all those Palliative Care collaborative organizations that participated in the diverse program activities. The various collaborative webinars, in-person trainings, and coaching calls worked to improve the care and support of patients with advanced illness and their families by increasing the awareness and utilization of POLST. HAP-HIIN organizations interested in references and/or resources from this past year, are encouraged to visit the Readmissions page on the HIIN Collaborative Site.  Resources include an update from The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s Chief Strategy Officer, Paula Bussard, on HAP’s efforts to work collaboratively with other stakeholders to advance legislation regarding POLST. Two bills have been introduced into the House and Senate that have bipartisan support in their sponsorship. 

The HAP-HIIN Readmission program in 2018 will include ExSEPSIS – Exiting with Excellent Care (sepsis readmissions) and Management of Behavioral Health co-morbidities in 30 and 7 day readmissions. If a hospital is interested in learning more about either or both of these new readmission focus areas, please contact Sandy Abnett HAP PA HIIN Readmissions project manager at
Contact Claudette Fonshell
2017 Pennsylvania State of the State 
The Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA) has released its annual report, 2017 Pennsylvania State of the State, which showcases quality improvement in Pennsylvania over time and how quality of care in Pennsylvania compares to national benchmarks.  This year, PHCQA analyzed multi-year performance trends for HCAHPS patient experience measures, cancer care process measures, mortality rates, and readmission rates.  In general, Pennsylvania’s performance on these measures tracks the national average.
Quality scores for all HCAHPS patient experience measures, which are based on responses by discharged patients to the HCAHPS Hospital Survey, have steadily increased over the last seven years.  PHCQA's analysis determined that nurse communication and ensuring that patients understand their discharge instructions, aspects of patient experience evaluated on the survey, are most highly correlated with high hospital ratings.  Regarding cancer care, Commission on Cancer accredited facilities in Pennsylvania  have outperformed the national average on four of five cancer process measures since 2011.
Heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia readmission rates have all decreased over the last five reporting periods.  While heart attack and stroke mortality rates have also decreased during the same time period, heart failure mortality rates have slightly increased.  Additionally, pneumonia mortality rates have substantially increased, which can be attributed to the expansion of the measure’s inclusion criteria. 
 To review the full report, please click here.  To view and compare individual hospital performance reports, please visit
Contact Mike Garbutt
Project Updates
Congratulations PURC!  The PURC prostate cancer data registry now has over 6,000 cases entered!  As the data becomes more robust, participating PURC clinical champions can gain a deeper understanding of prostate cancer care, conduct research studies, make more informed recommendations, and implement quality improvement strategies.
Contact Claudette Fonshell
HCIF hosted the second Safety Forum workshop the morning of Friday, December 1, 2017, which featured regional patient safety expert, Maureen Frye, Director of the Center for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality at Abington Jefferson Health.  Ms. Frye presented a new approach to Root Cause Analysis (RCA) that consisted of expanding the utilization of RCA in order to complete a Comprehensive Systematic Analysis, which emphasizes scalability and identifying the system and process failures. Thank you to our regional quality and patient safety leaders for attending the Safety Forum II Workshop and for making it such a success!  The third Safety Forum workshop is planned for Spring 2018.  
Contact Liz Owens
The Montgomery County Hospital Partnership engages hospitals, federally qualified health centers, behavioral health providers, the Montgomery County Health Department, and other stakeholders to address community health needs in Montgomery County.  The group met in November to discuss potential interventions targeting behavioral health in Montgomery County.  Areas of exploration include the development of a shared medical clearance protocol across hospital facilities, as well as a shared behavioral health screening and referral platform.  Representatives from the Partnership are conducting outreach with external experts to gather key information about design and implementation of similar projects.  The Partnership will meet again in January to discuss findings and determine next steps.
Contact Kelsey Salazar
Supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, The Philly Difference (TPD) learning collaborative convenes 21 primary care practices from 3 health systems to work towards the reduction and prevention of hypertension and diabetes in the City.  In November, Hilary Wall, MPH, Million Hearts Science Lead, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, CDC, presented on detecting undiagnosed hypertension to representatives from participating health systems.  During her presentation, Ms. Wall prompted systems to share their protocols and discuss strategies for identifying hypertensive patients that have not been diagnosed.
Contact Susan Cosgrove
Affordability Update
One in every six dollars flowing through the American economy is going to healthcare, and more than 30 percent of those dollars are wasted on low-value care or administrative waste. Unfortunately, some current payment systems have the unintended effect of rewarding this waste without regard for high value care.  Earlier this year, a team from HCIF attended the National Affordability Summit in Washington D.C., sponsored by the Network for Regional Health Improvement (NRHI).  Joining teams from 20 other NRHI member organizations around the country, the HCIF team considered the challenges of attacking this issue, which requires better data, strong multi-stakeholder collaboration, and changes in how providers are paid.  Mike Casey, Senior Vice President of Aon Hewitt and vice chair of the HCIF Board of Directors, shared his insights about the Summit here

Momentum is building, locally and nationally, to achieve affordability. To continue the conversation, NRHI is holding a virtual event on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 from 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET featuring several speakers from the Summit: 
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO of NRHI, will facilitate a robust discussion and provide a national perspective. 
  • Joshua Rosenthal, Chief Scientific Officer, RowdMap, will address how the healthcare system can improve incentives and reduce waste. 
  • An NRHI Member, will provide an expert take on how a particular region/stakeholder group is facing this waste issue. 
Following the presentations there will be a moderated Q&A that incorporates attendee questions and comments.  All are welcome. Please register here!
HCIF is Hiring an Administrative Coordinator
In December, HCIF bid farewell to Taylor Myers-Ackerman who is pursing a career opportunity in health care marketing.  HCIF is currently seeking a new Administrative Coordinator.

Click here for a the Administrative Coordinator job description.
Please send a letter of interest and resume to Kate Flynn.
More Information
HCIF Wishes You a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season
Stay Connected with All HCIF Projects
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Health Care Improvement Foundation
Ten Penn Center
1801 Market Street, Suite 710
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215.563.2444

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