The Egghead Help Desk…



Bill Myers

Good morning, ProviderNation. Rosa Baier is looking for a few good providers. The associate director of Brown University’s Center for Long-Term Care Quality & Innovation, Baier runs a kind of egghead help desk for post-acute and long term care providers looking for help testing their ideas (or seeking to participate in research). The Q&I Center has particular expertise in designing and evaluating studies.

“The Q&I center is focused on interventional research,” she says. “What that means, in a practical sense, is that we’re seeking innovative practices that can improve quality for people receiving post-acute and long term care. Our goal is to identify providers or others with promising interventions, and then to collaborate to test and spread successes around the profession.”

Innovation And Change

The fine folks at AHCA/NCAL founded the Q&I Center a little more than a year ago with two goals. The first is to address a problem that “there’s a lot of innovation occurring in care centers and other provider settings, but innovative practices may not be extensively tested in post-acute or long term care,” Baier says.

The second goal is to close that gap between the oft-dazzling presentations at conferences and care on the ground. “Interesting findings don’t always lead to change in clinical practice,” she says. “We want to change that.”

The center already has a several studies up and running. (For example, they’re collaborating with a Maine care center to obtain grant funding for its non-pharmacological approach to slashing the improper use of antipsychotics.) But there’s a lot of work out there, and Baier and her colleagues want to hear about it.

‘Valuable To The Community’

“We’re interested in interventions at any phase from an early pilot to a practice that has already been proven,” she says. “And it’s important to us that we test interventions that address issues of importance and value to the community. If there are people who are doing things that are innovative, we would love to hear from them.”

Baier’s email is

Parkinson: ‘Let Us Take The Risks’

Speaking of AHCA/NCAL, its overlord, Mark Parkinson, shared a few thoughts in Modern Healthcare Monday on bundled payment testing. In essence, Parkinson says, providers are tan, rested, and ready.

“The cost savings potential in Medicare is on the post-acute side, not with hospital stays,” he says.

A 2013 Institute of Medicine study examining the cause of variation in Medicare spending found that 73% was in post-acute care services. Under the current proposed rule, the acute providers are responsible for and at financial risk for the cost of the entire episode. In reality, their ability to reduce costs is limited. A post-acute bundle, managed by experts in post-acute care, offers the best chance to deliver cost savings. Skilled nursing providers are ready and willing to take on this task.

Bill Myers is Provider’s senior editor. Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @ProviderMyers.

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