Thursday, July 30, 2015

There is a Super Hero Among Us...

Nominate your Health Center Hero today!

This the final call for nominations for the Health Center Hero Awards. Nominations will be accepted until tonight at midnight (July 31). Take a moment to honor a staff member, volunteer, board member or community partner that routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Remember – in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Community Health Center movement, OACHC is honoring one Health Center SUPER Hero. The five finalists will be featured on the OACHC Facebook page from August 5-15. The finalist with the most “likes” will be awarded the Health Center SUPER Hero Award. Be sure to like the OACHC Facebook page so that you can cast your vote soon.

Inspirational Super Hero quotes to get you motivated:

“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.” – Commissioner James Gordon (Batman)

“In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a wonder woman.” – Queen Hippolyta (Wonder Woman’s mom)

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben (Spider-Man)

“Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose.” – The Flash

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Centering Pregnancy to Battle Infant Mortality in Ohio

Centering Pregnancy Pilot Program

In collaboration with the Kasich Administration, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and with leadership from Senators Shannon Jones and Charleta Tavares, an expectant mothers’ program aims to combat Ohio’s abysmal infant mortality rates. 

Centering Pregnancy connects at-risk moms with prenatal care and a network of support designed to empower and encourage health-promoting behaviors.

Ohio’s infant mortality crisis has been making headlines as our state is among the worst in the nation. According to Ohio’s Office of Health Transformation, infant deaths – when a baby who is born alive dies within the first year of life – account for 63 percent of all childhood deaths in Ohio. ODH reports that Ohio ranks 50th in the U.S. in African-American infant mortality, meaning that African-American babies in Ohio are more likely to die before reaching their first birthday than their counterparts in any other state.

With a proven record of delivering high-quality, low-cost health care, coupled with a strong presence in vulnerable/highest need communities – including impoverished urban neighborhoods, small towns and rural counties where poverty and unemployment are historically high – Ohio’s Community Health Centers are poised and ready to use the Centering Pregnancy data-driven model with significant success.

Four Community Health Centers were selected through a competitive grant process to implement the two-year, FQHC Centering Pregnancy Demonstration project: Fiver Rivers Health Center (Dayton), Muskingum Valley Health Centers, Neighborhood Health Association (Toledo) and PrimaryOne Health (formerly Columbus Neighborhood Health Center). 

Read Senator Jones’ press statement about SB 279 and the upcoming pilot program. 


Centering Pregnancy

Centering Pregnancy is an evidence-based health care delivery model that integrates maternal health care assessment, education, and support. Patients meet with their care provider and other group participants for an extended period of time, at regularly scheduled visits over the course of their pregnancy. Centering promotes patient engagement and community-building, and has been shown to significantly improve infant health outcomes.

Centering Pregnancy projects provide a safe place for expecting moms to share life experiences with other women who understand their situation, build a community of support, and provide positive peer encouragement to make healthy choices during their pregnancy.  Through this unique model of care, women are empowered to choose health-promoting behaviors. Health outcomes for pregnancies, specifically increased birth weight and gestational age, and the satisfaction expressed by both the women and their providers, support the effectiveness of this model for the delivery of care.

The four FQHCs in this demonstration project are charged with improving birth outcomes by:

•    Increasing breastfeeding rates
•    Reducing low birth weights
•    Reducing preterm birth rates
•    Decreasing smoking rates during pregnancy
•    Decreasing prenatal visit no show rates
•    Postpartum visits completed by 80% of patients
•    Increasing entry into prenatal care during the first trimester 

In addition, the FQHCs must fully embrace the model as the primary option for receiving pre and postnatal care and partner with Ohio’s managed care plans. Centering Pregnancy is an evidence-based model of care with significant rates of success.  Along with achieving improved patient outcomes also comes overall lower costs of care, the goal of this project is statewide implementation.


Other community health centers already involved in the program are:

Neighborhood Family Practice 


More Info on Centering Pregnancy

View all of Ohio’s centering pregnancy sites here 
FAQs about the program

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ohio’s HIT Strategy and You

Planning your health information technology strategy 

Guest Blog brought to you by InXite Health Systems (
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” 
--Wayne Gretzky

With the transformation occurring in healthcare, it’s easy to find yourself in reaction mode, just to survive the onslaught of changes effecting all aspects of your business. Success, however, is dependent on being able to anticipate where things are heading and get out ahead of future changes; switching from reactive to proactive mode.

As a leader of your health center you understand the importance of insight and strategic planning in anticipating future developments and setting your organization up for success. With an intensified focus on quality of care and the rapidly increasing data, analytics and reporting requirements, Health Information Technology (HIT) considerations are likely to feature heavily in any strategic planning discussions. In the spirit of “skating to where the puck is going to be,” we wanted to share some information you might find helpful.

The Governor’s Office of Health Transformation released its preliminary draft of Ohio’s Health Information Technology Strategy in May 2015. Included in this strategy are 7 themes related to HIT and their associated desired outcomes when the strategy is effectively implemented. We’ve highlighted the outcomes we believe to be most relevant to community health centers (highlighted in red) and have described them below.  

We’ve also developed a HIT Checklist for Strategic Planning (access it here for free).

Adapted from Governor’s Office of Health Transformation HIT Strategy

Click here to download our edited version of Ohio’s Preliminary HIT Strategy.

1. Rewarding Value: As the entire nation moves from Fee for Service to Value Based Care the State of Ohio has also adopted this transformation into its HIT strategy. FQHCs are rewarded for delivering patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

2. Performance Transparency: There is increasing demand from patients, advocates, government agencies and others for greater access to performance data about provider quality, costs, and outcomes.  This trend will only increase as CMS moves to its Merit-based Incentive Program System (MIPS).

3. Care Coordination: For the last several years there has been ongoing efforts to recognize and promote care coordination through new models (e.g., Patient Centered Medical Home) and payments (Transitional Care Management). Different types of clinicians, inside and outside the FQHC, will have unfettered access to necessary patient records and collaborate to deliver care.

4. Operational Efficiency: Reducing costs throughout the value chain via process streamlining, automation, etc.  To promote operational efficiency, healthcare organizations are adopting many of the same tools (e.g., Lean and Six Sigma, Information Technology, Automation, etc.) used to improve value chains in other industries. 

5. Non-clinical Decisions: Applying the same level of analysis and understanding to non-clinical decisions as you would clinical decisions. Policy and business decisions should be driven by a full understanding of relevant information and consistent use of advanced analytics.

6. Clinical Decisions: Clinicians must have robust support -data, tools, coaching, etc. that are available to consistently make optimal decisions.

7. Patient Engagement: Engagement around lifestyle, diet, socio-economic determinants and more.  Care for patients can no longer be relegated to the scheduled office visit but must be more encompassing and more connected to the patient’s daily activities. 

Staying at the forefront of healthcare as the industry rapidly transforms is an uphill battle, and we want to provide you with a tool that will make your strategic planning easier.

We’ve created a free HIT Checklist for Strategic Planning that can be used to help determine where you currently sit and what areas you need to improve. These 7 themes each serve their purpose in a holistic approach to HIT improvement and to ultimately bettering the quality of patient care and health outcomes.


James Paat is the CEO of InXite Health Systems (, a healthcare innovation company 100% focused on operationalizing and optimizing patient centered care coordination. He has 25 years of experience helping global 1000 companies and government agencies integrate data and share information.