Spotlight on West Michigan
Thursday, August 14, 2014
West Michigan

Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the quality of health care in 16 diverse communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform. AF4Q brings together people who get care, give care, and pay for care to work together toward the shared goal of better health and health care.

Today's issue of Spotlight features the work of AF4Q's West Michigan Alliance.

Caring for the Costliest Patients: Better Care, Better Settings
It is well known that “super-utilizers” account for only five percent of patients but accrue more than 60 percent of health care costs. The patients make frequent trips to hospital emergency rooms or have repeated inpatient hospital stays, resulting in costly, but not necessarily high-quality, care.
With the support of West Michigan’s Alliance for Health, the Center for Integrative Medicine created a team-based approach staffed by a physician, mental health worker, researcher, and physician assistant that specifically treats patients with complex needs throughout the area.
In its first year, the Center took on 418 new patients. It saw a 25 percent reduction in hospital charges for these patients and Emergency Department visits were reduced by 50 percent.
Redesigning Primary Care Helps Fill Critical Gaps
The Alliance for Health in Grand Rapids, MI, one of RWJF’s Aligning Forces for Quality communities, has been working to close gaps in primary care by linking up patients with depression and other related conditions with care managers. These care managers connect these patients with community services and resources, and help them navigate their journey through a complex health care system.
These efforts are part of a larger primary care transformation in West Michigan designed to improve care for this vulnerable population.
Patients with Depression Don’t Walk Through the Clinic Door
Depression can be debilitating. Major depression causes pain, disability, or even death and may also lead to workplace absenteeism. Primary care physicians frequently lack the know-how, time, and other resources to help patients with depression get the treatment they need.
The Michigan Center for Clinical Systems Improvement (Mi-CCSI), working with the West Michigan AF4Q Alliance, has adapted a depression management program pioneered by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) and the AF4Q Alliance in Minnesota.
The DIAMOND program in West Michigan unites a physician, a care manager, and a consulting psychiatrist to provide team-based care for patients with depression in primary care practices. The collaborative approach helps patients achieve remission faster and helps primary care make important cultural and workflow changes in how it cares for patients with depression.
Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health care and provide models for national reform. Alliance teams represent the people who get care, give care, and pay for care.
See the newsletter archive
Aligning Forces for Quality
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Join our group Connect with us Follow Aligning Forces for Quality on RSS Follow us Subscribe to our channel
© 2015 Aligning Forces for Quality