UMass Medical School support key to Vermont Health Care Innovation Project success

October 02, 2015

A federally funded project that aims to improve Vermont’s health care system is succeeding with support from UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division.

The Vermont Health Care Innovation Project or VHCIP, through private-public partnerships, aims to improve care and population health while reducing costs by 2017. It is funded through a $45 million State Innovation Model grant awarded to Vermont in 2013 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation.

A team from Commonwealth Medicine’s Office of Program Development and Enterprise Project Management has been providing day-to-day project management for the innovation project since September 2013.  Led by Joelle Judge, JD, PMP, a UMass Medical School senior program development associate, the team oversees stakeholder management, coordinates six work groups and provides program support for integrated care learning collaboratives.

“We’re involved at all levels of the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project, and are working diligently to provide the necessary support to maintain a successful momentum,” Judge said.  “Our goal is to assist all stakeholders so that this critical project can move forward smoothly.”

Major progress has been made toward the project’s goals, according to a project report published earlier this year. Accomplishments include finalizing standards for Vermont’s commercial and Medicaid Shared Savings Programs and implementing new health information technology that will improve and standardize data quality in electronic medical records systems and identify gaps in data systems.

The UMass Medical School team is a critical support for the state in managing the innovation project’s $4.9 million Provider Sub-Grant Program, which focuses on changing the way health care is both paid for and delivered to patients. The sub-grants are awarded to providers throughout Vermont to fund projects that advance alternative payment models, improved care coordination models across the continuum of care and innovative technology solutions that support advances in sharing clinical or other critical service information between provider organizations.

A symposium series for providers participating in the sub-grant program is being produced by the UMass Medical School team. The first symposium was held in May with a second session scheduled for early October.

Related Links