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Reflecting on 10 Years of Healthcare Innovation

Reflecting on 10 Years of Healthcare Innovation

Reflecting on 10 Years of Healthcare Innovation

The Econometrica Team celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the many innovations it created.

Bethesda, MD, March 2020

On March 23, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) celebrates its 10-year anniversary. A landmark body of legislation, the ACA has left a lasting impact on healthcare in the United States. One of the key tenets of the legislation highlights its dedication to original and novel solutions to healthcare challenges: the creation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), also known as the Innovation Center within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the past decade, the Econometrica Team has engaged with several CMMI programs designed to improve quality of care while reducing costs. We mark this milestone by reflecting on the past 10 years of work in this space and looking forward to future innovations.

Since its inception through CMMI, Econometrica has been influential in the success of the Hospital Innovation and Improvement Network initiative, formerly known as the Partnership for Patients initiative. This initiative seeks to improve healthcare safety and quality by reducing harm in hospitals and reducing readmissions through public–private partnerships. In the first iteration of the initiative, Econometrica served as the National Content Developer. In this role, Econometrica supported Hospital Engagement Networks in identifying, sharing, and celebrating innovations in care redesign that improved patient outcomes and reduced readmissions in key areas (e.g., adverse drug events, early elective deliveries). Econometrica served as the evaluator for the initiative and investigated the savings and improved patient outcomes for the first and second iteration of the model. We have supported the third iteration of the model through our work monitoring Patient and Family Engagement activities and providing evidence-based resources on how to expand the innovation.

Econometrica supported CMS on the Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Diseases program by monitoring the program’s effectiveness and providing technical support to participants. The demonstration program tested the effectiveness of offering incentives to Medicaid beneficiaries who took part in prevention programs to address one of the following health behaviors or outcomes: curbing tobacco use, controlling or losing weight, lowering cholesterol or blood pressure, and avoiding the onset of diabetes or improving diabetes management. Econometrica supported the 10 States that received grants in implementing the program, created and put into action a learning system, collected performance data, and organized meetings for grantees.

Another of Econometrica’s early CMMI initiative-related evaluation projects was the Evaluation and Monitoring of the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Model 1 Initiative, which connected payments for services provided to beneficiaries during an episode of care. Econometrica evaluated changes in service utilization patterns, patient case mix, incidence of harm, quality of care, changes in key health outcomes of patients, and Medicare expenditures, and collected primary qualitative data by interviewing participants. We designed and administered a Patient Health and Experience Survey to certain beneficiaries to understand their care experience. We are currently building on this work under our Learning System for Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced Model contract, in which we are researching and recommending which quality measures to use to evaluate participant performance in the model, responding to help desk tickets, and assisting with a data feedback dashboard that monitors model performance.

Our other current work on CMMI initiatives includes engagements with the Million Hearts® and Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) models. Million Hearts® aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve outcomes for people at risk of heart attacks and stroke. Econometrica assists with the program implementation by validating beneficiary eligibility for the program, tracking provider use, and creating payment files for claims processing for each beneficiary.

Our work on CPC+ falls into two projects that support the model, which seeks to improve primary care through regional transformations of care delivery and multi-payer reform. Econometrica produces a series of data extracts consisting of claims and administrative data, which are sent to more than 300 individual practices participating in CPC+. We also aggregate data extracts that are provided to four regional aggregators participating in CPC+.

We look forward to continuing to support CMS’ dedication to innovative models that promote the delivery of high-quality healthcare at reduced cost. Happy birthday, CMMI!

Read more about CMMI here.

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Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

Econometrica Maintains Continued Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic

Bethesda, MD, March 2020

BETHESDA, MD – On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) nationwide. Econometrica, Inc., continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of our staff, their families, and communities. We also are taking steps toward meeting our commitments to clients and partners and continue to provide the high-quality and timely services expected from Econometrica

The following summarizes steps we have taken to date:

  • Econometrica has mandated that all employees work full time from home for the foreseeable future. We are complying with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to halt gatherings of more than 50 people and to encourage social distancing.
  • Employees working remotely have full access, using secure configurations, to Econometrica’s network resources, applications, and support, including communication tools to support telework. No project work will be interrupted by this move to a remote setup.
  • Project teams in our Health, Housing and Community Development, General Services, Capital Markets, and Data Analytics groups are moving toward scheduling all meetings virtually and limiting travel. All business travel is temporarily suspended during this time.
  • Staff members who work onsite at our clients’ offices continue to report to their respective agencies unless directed otherwise. We have been in contact with each client to develop contingency plans to address remote work should access to the client site is limited or an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19.
  • We have regularly communicated prevention strategies and tips from CDC and the American Red Cross for keeping homes and workplaces safe. Everyone has been advised to call their doctors and follow CDC recommendations for self-quarantine should they show any symptoms related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus infections increase at an exponential rate, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Social distancing seems to be effective in reducing the spread, and Econometrica wants its employees to feel safe and remain healthy. As this outbreak unfolds, Econometrica will continue to provide its high-quality services with no reduction in availability or commitment.

Please contact us at (301) 657-9883 or Administration@EconometricaInc.com if you have any questions or concerns.

Read more about Econometrica’s News.

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Evaluating the Community-based Care Transitions Program

Evaluating the Community-based Care Transitions Program

From 2012 to 2017, Econometrica conducted an evaluation of the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As part of the Partnership for Patients 1.0 initiative, which aimed to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare in the United States, the CCTP supported partnerships between community-based organizations (CBOs) and hospitals to provide transition services to Medicare beneficiaries. The goals of the program included:

  • Decrease readmissions rates among high-risk Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Improve quality of care through the transition.
  • Provide savings to Medicare.

A driving force in the construction of the program as CBO-based partnerships was awareness of the critical role the community (e.g., family, caregivers, primary care physicians, CBOs) can play in improving hospital-to-home transitions and reducing avoidable readmissions.

The evaluation of the CCTP aimed to identify whether (and how) the program was associated with key outcomes, as well as whether program characteristics and care transition service components might have driven favorable key outcome findings. Key outcome measures included 30-day readmissions, expenditures, post-discharge service utilization, emergency department visits, and observation stays. In addition, the evaluation assessed implementation of the program across sites, utilization of community services by participants, and beneficiary and provider participation in the program.

Econometrica implemented three quantitative strategies to analyze the CCTP’s impacts:

  1. A pre-post regression model.
  2. Difference-in-differences regression models at the beneficiary and hospital levels.
  3. A time-series model.

We also conducted qualitative research based on annual telephone interviews with CCTP sites and 10 in-person site visits per year. We used qualitative data to broaden our understanding of program features, the challenges CBO partnerships encountered in implementing the CCTP, the implementation process, contextual and environmental factors influencing implementation and outcomes, successful strategies, and other programs that could confound findings.

We reported the findings of the evaluation in two published reports in 2014 and 2017, including recommendations about program expansion.

About Econometrica:
Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers, and business development.

Key outcome measures included 30-day readmissions, expenditures, post-discharge service utilization, emergency department visits, and observation stays.

Read more about Econometrica’s work on the CCTP here.

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