GCMH Receives National Recognition from American Hospital Association

Last Updated on Feb 5, 2015 at 2:29pm | Health & Social

This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of The Lake-Front magazine and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) recognized Garrett County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) for its efforts in quality of care, patient safety and patient centered care and for its participation in the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. The Quest for Quality Prize is recognition for hospitals that pursue excellence in continuous quality improvement and patient safety. GCMH received the recognition after submitting a description of its quality improvement processes and measurements of success.
In the same week, GCMH was also awarded the Carolyn Boone Lewis “Living the Vision Award” for the hospital’s participation and membership in a state collaborative that is reinventing the payment systems for hospitals in the State of Maryland. This “new” payment is also known as Total Patient Revenue, or TPR. The way that the TPR payment system works, is that hospitals assume risk for the health of the community and are paid based on the population served, versus being paid based on the volume of patients. The TPR Collaborative consists of a total of 10 Hospitals in the State of Maryland, all of which were presented the award for reinventing themselves to meet the new payment system. Awards were presented by Rich Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the AHA.
“Garrett County Memorial Hospital is the longest standing TPR Hospital in Maryland. We’ve been paid on this system since the early 1980’s. This work has led to GCMH having the lowest 30 day readmission rate in the state, which is currently below 6%, versus the state average of 12%,” explained Mark Boucot, GCMH President and CEO. “The people of Garrett County may not realize it, but this work could essentially become a basis for the rest of the nation when considering the implementation of a population based health reimbursement system.”
Maryland TPR Collaborative formed in 2010 out of 10 hospitals involved in the Maryland Total Patient Revenue Project. The Maryland Total Patient Revenue Project uses a fixed revenue system to encourage hospitals to decrease hospitalizations. The participating hospitals are the sole providers in communities in the western mountain region and coastal parts of the state. The collaborative’s purpose is to reshape the participating hospitals’ approach to health care, learn from each other’s challenges and successes, share best practices and data and improve care as a group, despite demographic diversity. Tracy Lipscomb, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at GCMH remarked, “I have been honored to work with such a talented group of CEO’s and CFO’s as part of this TPR Collaborative.”
These 10 hospitals focus on providing greater access to primary care, which keeps patients out of the hospital, and improving quality. Some of the successful strategies implemented by TPR Collaborative Maryland hospitals include:
  • Creating partnerships with physicians, pharmacists and community groups;
  • Supporting the primary care physician practices;
  • Creating primary care medical homes;
  • Developing high-risk clinics like GCMH’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Unit; Partnering with independent urgent care centers and increasing collaboration
  • with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s);
  • Expanding and supporting Home Health and community resources;
  • Focusing on appropriateness of admissions;
  • Improving and changing discharge procedures and follow-up; and,
  • Increasing health and wellness activities on a regional basis.
Umbdenstock recognized the TPR Collaborative in Maryland for their efforts to reducing costs, increasing access to primary care and sharing best practices in a way that all hospitals can learn from. An important element of the Carolyn Boone Lewis Living the Vision Award is that a hospital must be recognized as a leader and nominated by others in the health care field.
Participating hospitals in the collaborative are Calvert Memorial Hospital, Carroll Hospital Center, Chester River Hospital Center, Garrett County Memorial Hospital, The McCready Foundation, Meritus Medical Center, Shore Health System, Union Hospital, and Western Maryland Health System.
The American Hospital Association is the national advocate for its members, nearly 5,000 hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 43,000 individuals. For more information visit the website at www.aha.org.