Worcester Business Journal: How UMass Medical School is building models for better care

March 24, 2015

UMass Medical School's Commonwealth Medicine division is working to create better care models, Executive Vice Chancellor Joyce A. Murphy writes in a column for Health, a quarterly published by the Worcester Business Journal.

Murphy outlines the medical school’s role in improving care by helping health plans enhance Medicare Star Ratings and assisting primary care practices in implementing the patient-centered medical home model.

“We’re involved in two innovative programs that will help make health care what we all want it to be: accessible, coordinated, understandable and inclusive,” Murphy wrote. “These two programs have separate aims, but share a common goal: to ensure that health care quality improves in a way that boosts patients’ health and well-being.”

UMass Medical School and its business affiliate, UHealthSolutions, have developed Star Rating enhancement services to ensure plans meet the new standards for Medicare plans from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The standards emphasize customer satisfaction, medication adherence and member health outcomes.

Commonwealth Medicine is transforming primary care practices. The team partnered with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services on the Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative - a three-year demonstration in the final analysis stage with promising early results - and on implementation of primary care payment reform. Commonwealth Medicine also works directly with primary care practices and health care institutions to educate them about the model and assist them in achieving official PCMH recognition.