West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

West Virginia Selected by CMS for Accountable Health Communities Model

4/18/2017

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch today announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has selected West Virginia as one of 32 participants for the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model. The goal is to support local communities in addressing health-related social needs of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries by bridging the gap between clinical and community service providers.

 

The AHC model is based on a theory that addressing social service needs, such as food insecurity and inadequate or unstable housing, improves the ability for citizens to comply with personal medical regimens and lead healthier lives. Through this CMS-funded grant, West Virginia will implement a controlled trial to test the theory and track health care compliance and health outcomes.

 

“This is a positive step for West Virginia,” said Crouch. “The AHC model provides a tremendous opportunity to continue working collaboratively with our partners to better support the overall health and well-being of West Virginians. The model is both data-driven and fueled by community-based innovation, and aims to reduce avoidable health care utilization, impact the cost of health care, and improve health and quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.”

 

The five year grant was awarded to Partners in Health Network, Inc., which will serve as the bridge organization. In addition to Partners in Health Network, the AHC model application was achieved through a public-private sector collaboration including DHHR, CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, West Virginia University (WVU) Center for Excellence in Disabilities, WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health and Quality Insights (formally the West Virginia Medical Institute), West Virginia Family Resource Center and Try This West Virginia.  

 

"There's a growing consensus that we cannot solve our health problems in West Virginia and across the country simply by providing more and more health care,” said Clay B. Marsh, M.D., Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences, WVU. “We need to address the whole individual, how he or she lives in a family and community, the economic and social connections that surround each of us, and many other factors. Only then can we begin to create healthy lifestyles. This project will bring WVU experts in family medicine, disability services, and other fields into coordination with rural clinics around the state to test the impact of a more comprehensive model of care on the health and lives of West Virginians." 

 

Nine health care organizations with 48 clinical sites will be actively screening Medicaid and Medicare patients for health-related social needs.  The organizations include CAMC, Community Care of West Virginia, Highland Hospital, Jackson General Hospital, Minnie Hamilton Health System, Prestera Center, Summersville Regional Medical Center, West Virginia Health Right, WVU Hospitals and WVU Medical Corporation.

 

 “The collaboration, shared leadership and hard work among all our partners was truly outstanding,” said Bob Whitler, Executive Director of Partners in Health Network and Vice President for Government and Community Affairs with CAMC.  “Implementation of this model will ultimately help us better bridge the gap between health care providers and community resources.”

 

The AHC Assistance Track provides person-centered community service navigation services to assist high-risk beneficiaries with accessing needed services, while the AHC Alignment Track also provides community service navigation services and encourages community-level partner alignment to ensure that necessary services and supports are available and responsive to the beneficiaries’ needs.  The Assistance and Alignment Tracks of the AHC model will begin on May 1, 2017, with a five-year performance period. 

 

For more information on the ACH model, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/ahcm.

Contact Information

Media contacts: DHHRCommunications@wv.gov 304-558-7899; bill.case@hsc.wvu.edu 304-293-8045; dale.witte@camc.org 304-388-5766

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