(February 8, 2012, Oklahoma City, Ok) – A groundbreaking partnership among 15 Oklahoma organizations is developing a plan to help ease the burden of cardiovascular disease, one of the leading killers in Oklahoma. Working with providers and citizens throughout the state, the partnership seeks to reduce cardiac risk factors including hypertension, smoking and high cholesterol while increasing heart-healthy behaviors.
According to the latest State Health Rankings Report, Oklahoma is 48th in the nation in deaths from cardiovascular disease, and the state’s overall health ranking fell to 48th from 46th last year.
“The need for rapid, wide-scale change in Oklahoma’s health has never been greater,” said Dr. Glenn Lytle, medical director for the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ), one of the partners. “We are excited about the possibilities to help providers and citizens in Oklahoma apply new models for accelerating and spreading change and improving population health,” he said.
The initial partnership includes Oklahoma-based physicians, non-profit and government health organizations, Native American tribes and corporate entities. By strategically joining forces and aligning resources, this group believes more can be accomplished working together than working in silos.
“This partnership represents a strong commitment to improve cardiac health in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Kimberly Hutton, medical director with CareATC, a Tulsa-based company that provides on-site physician clinics for businesses. “As a partnership, we have the arms and legs to reach into communities and help connect providers, patients and community resources. Ultimately, we will be able to improve patient compliance, provide better services, and improve the overall health of all Oklahomans"
“We have significant potential for alignment of initiatives in our state and greater impact as a result,” said Dr. James Mold, Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the OUHSC and Board of Directors member of the Oklahoma Physicians’ Resource/Research Network (OKPRN).
Oklahoma’s partnership will form learning and action networks to engage communities in improving cardiac population health. In this new model for spreading rapid, wide-scale improvement, healthcare providers will have access to a community for addressing common challenges and connect with peers for mentoring. Patients and caregivers throughout the state will be invited to be part of the dialogue. Additionally, providers will receive support in using electronic medical records to coordinate care and measure improvement in care.
“The Choctaw Nation has already engaged more than 100 of our health care providers to participate in the shared learning and action networks that will be a part of this initiative,” said Todd Hallmark, Chief Operating Officer for the Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority. “Given the health disparities within Oklahoma’s Native American population, with higher rates of obesity contributing to heart disease, we need to have a major impact in improving the health of Oklahomans.”
The driver behind Oklahoma’s cardiac health initiative is the national Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program, administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). OFMQ is the QIO for Oklahoma. QIOs in every state and territory offer providers the opportunity to contribute to broader health quality goals such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Quality Strategy. QIOs are helping physician practices improve their ability to report clinical quality data from their electronic medical record systems and prepare for value-based payment by Medicare and other insurers.
The partnership supports the national Million Hearts campaign, a joint initiative of CMS, the American Heart Association and others to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. Find out more at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.
Providers and others interested in being part of a community network can contact Tracy Prather at (405) 302-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cardiac Population Health Partners:
- American Heart Association
- CareATC, Tulsa
- Chickasaw Nation Division of Health
- Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority
- Oklahoma City Area Inter Tribal Health Board
- Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers
- Oklahoma Chapter, American College Physicians
- Oklahoma Chapter, Academy of Family Physicians
- Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality
- Oklahoma Hospital Association
- Oklahoma Physicians’ Resource/Research Network
- Oklahoma Primary Care Association
- Oklahoma State Department of Health – Turning Point Initiative
- Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)
- Tulsa Health Department