Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Leader Invited to Speak to National Health Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.

January 27, 2015

Cheyenne, WY—A representative from Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s population health division will present highlights of the division’s statewide population health improvement project to the National Health Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., on January 30.

Phyllis Sherard, Ph.D., Cheyenne Regional’s chief strategy officer and vice president of population health, will discuss how the statewide initiative is transforming rural healthcare delivery in Wyoming by creating integrated systems of care known as “medical neighborhoods.” The initiative is being managed by the Wyoming Institute of Population Health, a division of Cheyenne Regional.

The Wyoming initiative was selected from 105 federally funded projects focusing on innovative ways to improve population health by developing new service delivery models. The projects are all funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

“We are honored to be asked to represent the hard work undertaken by Wyoming’s providers to unite in improving the delivery of healthcare to Wyoming residents,” Sherard said. “In the nearly three years since the medical neighborhood model launched, we have seen quantifiable improvements in the health of patients and in their care experience, as well as reductions in the cost of care provided.”

In 2012 the Institute was awarded a $14 million Health Care Innovation Award to transform rural healthcare delivery by creating medical neighborhoods throughout Wyoming. The initiative is projected to save Wyoming an estimated $33 million in healthcare costs by the end of 2015.

The initiative includes the development of patient-centered medical homes and a virtual pharmacy, the use of transition care nurses to coordinate the care of patients with chronic diseases and the creation of a telehealth network currently linking more than 50 Wyoming hospitals and primary care practice clinics.

“The strategies have been designed to ensure that patients achieve the greatest possible care experience and benefit from well-coordinated, well-communicated care and seamless transitions between care providers and facilities,” Sherard said.

Dr. Sherard’s presentation to the policy forum will cover:
· The essential components of community collaborations for improving population health.
· How federal policies and programs prompted, facilitated or impeded community efforts to realize the interrelated goals of better health, better care and lower costs.
· The challenges in developing and implementing policies and programs in Wyoming and how they were addressed.
· How the efforts can be replicated in other communities—and under what conditions.

Two other CMMI projects will also be presented at this month’s policy forum. Hennepin Health of Hennepin County, MN, will describe its work to create a partnership between healthcare and social service providers to address healthcare needs and social determinants of health and to also share the financial risk. The Oregon Health Authority will discuss the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative, a public-private effort to improve population health in a four-county area in Oregon and Washington.

About the Wyoming Institute of Population Health™
The Wyoming Institute of Population Health is committed to building bridges between communities and health systems. The Institute was created to help all Wyoming hospitals and healthcare providers develop strategic platforms that proactively address the evolving needs of patients, providers and communities across Wyoming.

About the National Health Policy Forum
The National Health Policy Forum’s 45-year old mission is to cultivate a learning community among congressional members, their senior staff, congressional support agencies and the executive branch of the federal government in order to improve the policymaking process on the nation’s critical health issues.