By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Weekly News - Precision for Value, the market leader supporting global pharmaceutical companies in demonstrating the value of innovative medical products, announced that Maureen Hennessey, SVP, Director, Quality and Population Health Systems, has been appointed to the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project 2016-2017 (IAP). She will serve on the multi-stakeholder coordinating committee and as chair of the technical expert panel (TEP) supporting physical and mental health integration.
NQF's IAP is a new program funded by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to build state capacity and support ongoing innovation in Medicaid through technical assistance. The goal is to support states in accelerating new payment and service delivery reforms to improve health and increase the quality of care provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. Through these improvements, the IAP will strive to reduce costs for the Medicaid program and, by extension, the health system in general.
"Effective integrated care can enhance patient engagement and outcomes while reducing costs," Dr. Hennessey said in commenting on her appointment to the coordinating committee and TEP. "Valid and reliable quality measures give stakeholders guideposts for gauging the success of care integration activities."
The IAP has four priority areas, each with its own TEP, charged with collaborating with NQF on CMS-supported efforts to identify sets of existing, standardized measures for use by state Medicaid agencies. A primary challenge that the Physical and Mental Health Integration TEP, chaired by Dr. Hennessey, will address is to develop processes for selecting and identifying specific quality measures. The purpose of these measures is to improve the assessment and treatment of individuals with both physical and mental healthcare needs that are not being adequately met due, in large part, to fragmentation in the current healthcare system. In doing so, the TEP will target innovative ways to reduce overall costs to the Medicaid programs while delivering increased value.
Currently, 20 percent of Medicaid enrollees live with a diagnosed mental health condition or substance use disorder and account for a disproportionate share of Medicaid expenditures. Individuals with mood disorders or schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders represent the two most common diagnoses for rehospitalization among Medicaid beneficiaries.
"The data collected through quality measurement will facilitate improvement efforts and consumer plan selection," Dr. Hennessey added. "Our initiative aims to support Medicaid programs seeking to expand value through delivery of coordinated care that addresses the physical and behavioral health concerns of patients with mental health issues."
Dr. Hennessey, PhD, CPCC, is a licensed psychologist in two states and has served in executive positions with Magellan, Health Integrated, BCBS of Kansas City, UnitedHealthcare, and Cigna. She also received an academic appointment as clinical assistant professor with the UMKC School of Medicine. Under her leadership, organizations have received recognition from the National Business Coalition on Health (eValue8 award), the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and the National Academies for innovative, patient-centric initiatives that have reduced hospital readmissions and improved patient safety. Dr. Hennessey has extensive experience in community and health plan collaborations for expanded integration of healthcare with behavioral interventions, with demonstrated improved outcomes (e.g., decreased emergency department and inpatient utilization due to suicide attempts).
"We are extremely proud to announce Maureen's appointment to the NQF's Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project," said Dan Renick, President, Precision for Value. "At Precision, Dr. Hennessey has been key to the development and growth of our innovative Payer Strategy Team, and is also widely regarded throughout the industry as an expert in quality and population health solutions. In providing her leadership and expertise to NQF, we are confident that new and innovative approaches to the integration of physical and mental health services will be advanced throughout the Medicaid system, improving cost-effectiveness while demonstrating increased value."
Keywords for this news article include: Medicaid, Health Policy, Mental Health, Precision for Value, Diagnostics and Screening.
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