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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 22, 2010
RWJF Awards Nine Communities Money To Support Novel Programs

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has selected nine local organizations to receive awards through the Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Development Fund. The Development Fund supports particularly innovative and exemplary practices for improving quality in select regions.

The Development Fund provides local organizations with the opportunity to develop innovative practices in three focus areas: health information technology (HIT), patient-centered care, and payment reform.

"Health reform is a national issue but the impact is felt locally in hospitals and physician offices throughout our Aligning Forces for Quality communities and what happens in one community has the potential to inform others and significantly improve healthcare nationwide," said Anne F. Weiss, director of the foundation’s quality/equality team.

The nine AF4Q Development Fund award recipients are:


  • Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services will work to leverage HIT to reduce avoidable emergency department visits from patients with treatable primary care conditions.
  • The Lovelace Clinic Foundation, Albuquerque, will try to measure the extent that a health information exchange reduces duplicate diagnostic tests and how it is used by clinicians.
  • Cincinnati’s HealthBridge will use its databases to work with primary care medical home practices to support data integration, data reporting and other needed practice improvements to promote connectivity and patient data integration.

Patient-Centered Care

  • Minnesota’s Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement will engage patients in shared decision-making (SDM) during the palliative care period and pilot new or existing SDM tools that ensure active participation from patients.
  • Oregon Health Care Quality Corp., Willamette Valley, will seek to facilitate change by embedding patients within six local health plans and delivery systems. Technical assistance will include on-site coaching and development of a system to support patient advisors.
  • Quality Counts, Maine, will strengthen consumer presence in ambulatory care by engaging consumers directly in governance and helping transform 26 primary care medical homes practices to become more patient-centered. Consumers will be trained and serve on Patient-Family Leadership Teams in the community.

Payment Reform

  • Oregon Health Care Quality Corp. will establish community-wide specific measures, measurement processes and implementation details for a reformed care payment system to add severity-adjusted care coordination payments and outcome-based bonuses to existing fee-for-service payments in primary care practices.
  • Puget Sound Health Alliance, Washington, will bring together public and private payers and providers to identify reimbursement methods that align incentives around primary care medical homes. The goal will be to develop specific payment reforms that sustain a medical home model.
  • Health Management Coalition Foundation,Maine, will try to identify unwarranted variation in cost and utilization for care that is preference sensitive, supply sensitive and effective. The ultimate goal is advance a new incentivized payment model.

Address: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Route 1 and College Road East, P.O. Box 2316, Princeton, NJ 08543; (877) 843-7953.

  This article was taken from:
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