"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014: A Year In Review

Fiscal Year 2014 is a year that WMHS can look back on with great pride.  Throughout the year, we continued to provide value-based care with that care being provided in the most appropriate location whether it was in the acute care setting, in a clinic, a physician's office or in the home.  We also continued to align our care delivery model with the Triple Aim of Health Care Reform: improving quality, making our community healthier and reducing the cost of care.  Many in the health care field continue to be skeptical of value-based care, but it is working.  

We are most fortunate that Maryland got it right by introducing a new payment methodology, Total Patient Revenue, four years ago in ten Maryland hospitals and Global Budget Revenue earlier this year for the remaining Maryland hospitals.  As a result, FY'14 was our second consecutive year for exceeding our net revenue over expense, which has enabled WMHS to re-invest those savings into programs and services that support our new care delivery model as well as to enhance our role as the safety net for the region.  This year was the first that we were able to provide funding to local agencies like County United Way, Salvation Army, Western Maryland Food Bank, Associated Charities, Allegany Health Right and HRDC that assist us in meeting the social needs of those patients whom we serve.  It is our intent to enhance the needs of our community through better transportation services for those getting to and from the hospital, assistance with housing, assistance with drug availability and cost, better dental care, healthier foods, bringing health care to the communities that we serve and better navigating the wide array of needs on behalf of our most vulnerable patients.

During FY'14 we have also achieved a great deal of notoriety in the success of our care delivery model.  We have presented to groups across the country; hospitals have visited WMHS to learn about our success; we have been written about in national publications, newspapers and journals; Maryland's Governor and the Secretary of Health visited WMHS in August lauding our accomplishments in care delivery and improvements in community health; and in December we were one of ten hospitals recognized by the American Hospital Association with its Living the Vision Award.  

Along with our partners, Meritus Health and Frederick Memorial Health System, we also formed the Trivergent Health Alliance this year.  The focus of the Alliance is improved clinical quality, better population health and the formation of a Management Services Organization where we consolidated Information Systems, Pharmacy, Human Resources, Revenue Cycle, Laboratory Services and Supply Chain.

Fiscal Year 2015 is not expected to be any different as we continue in the same direction through our ongoing focus in bringing improvement to our care delivery model, remaining as one of the top ten best hospitals in Maryland in improving the patient experience, reducing hospital acquired conditions, increasing the use of core measures and being there for all of our patients, especially those who are the most vulnerable with multiple chronic illnesses.  Some of the initiatives to watch for in FY'15 would be introducing community gardens into areas of our region where healthier eating is a necessity; bringing primary and speciality care to underserved areas of our region through a mobile health unit; new state- of-the-art technology in Cancer Care, Women's Health and Diagnostic Radiology to better diagnose, treat and care for those who we serve; as well as continue to recruit for both primary and specialty care physicians bringing the latest knowledge and expertise to our health system and community.

It may seem like a tall order, but with the dedicated and committed employees of WMHS and Trivergent along with our medical staff, we continue to be very well positioned.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

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