Jean Moody-Williams, RN, MPP, is the acting consortium administrator for the Consortium for Quality Improvement and Survey & Certification Operations at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Moody-Williams received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Hampton University and a Masters of Public Policy and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Adebola Adeleye, DNP, is a care transitions and quality improvement subject matter expert and lead of the CMS Care Transitions & Post-Acute Care (CTPAC) Affinity Group. Dr. Adeleye received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bloomfield College and both her Masters of Science in Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner Track) and Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Monmouth University. Dr. Adeleye maintains her clinical practice as a Nurse Practitioner and serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing.
Q: The first NCTA Day, which you’re planning to be an annual event, is coming up on April 16. What inspired its creation?
CMS is working to empower and support consumers as they make decisions about their health care. One of our priorities is to enhance the CMS customer experience, and we are continually looking for ways to improve the care of our beneficiaries. We also strive to enrich the experience of clinicians and providers, who face challenges with coordination of care processes due to the lack of exchange of valuable information, incomplete knowledge of community resources and many other reasons.
Health care can be very complex, and it requires effective coordination efforts as beneficiaries transition from one point of care to another, such as from a hospital to a nursing home. Effective care transitions require a team-based approach that treats people holistically — addressing their socioeconomic circumstances, cultural beliefs and values, as well as their health care needs.
To practice this same holistic approach for the care of our beneficiaries, CMS mobilized a team of individuals across the agency representing the various aspects of our care transitions programs and initiatives to form the CMS CTPAC Affinity Group. This group works to align our care transitions efforts by improving communication and coordination, and eliminating duplication across our programs.
Early on in our discussions, the CTPAC Affinity Group identified the need to increase awareness and promote action around care transitions and expectations during the process, especially in the beneficiary population. One of our priorities at CMS is to put patients first, and we believe beneficiaries are an essential part of the health care team. If people are well informed about ways to improve their care, they can become more active participants. Ultimately, active patient participation helps us at CMS be more effective in advancing quality care and patient safety as people transition through the health care continuum.
Q: When it comes to care transitions, what are some of the key issues you want to highlight?
Feedback from a number of our programs at CMS such as the “Patients over Paperwork” initiative, Quality Improvement Care Transition programs, and others reveal that beneficiaries continue to struggle with navigating the complexities of health care services.
We’ve realized over time that there is a knowledge deficit among many stakeholders when it comes to care transitions. With NCTA Day, we hope to raise national awareness about the importance and value of care transitions and care coordination, and highlight how CMS beneficiaries, families and caregivers, community partners, private payers and every member of the health care team can benefit from — and take action in — this process.
We are also hoping to address the barriers to effective care coordination and care transitions, such as limited resources for beneficiaries, information gaps about reimbursement opportunities for providers, and underutilization of community resources and partners, among many others. NCTA Day offers CMS and its partners a chance to demonstrate leadership in driving change, reducing burden, improving data transparency, enhancing care and engaging stakeholders around this critical topic.
Q: How can stakeholders — such as health care providers, patients or the general public — get involved?
We are calling all stakeholders and the public at large into action. We especially would love to see all our CMS networks; hospitals; patient advocacy groups; community partners;state, federal and local health care partnersand others get involved by engaging their local communities in activities targeted at improving education and increasing actions toward improving care transitions.
We would also love to see best practices shared across the nation on April 16 using social media and the hashtag #CMSNCTA19.
Q: After NCTA Day, how can readers stay engaged?
This will be an annual initiative, so we are inviting all our stakeholders to stay connected with us, even after the 2019 NCTA Day. We welcome suggestions and recommendations to improve the effort each year and invite you to join our Care Transitions CMS Listserv to receive future communications about upcoming events and opportunities. To register, visit https://www.healthcarecommunities.org/NCTA.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share with the QIO News audience?
We hope you join us in this important effort as we continue working to improve the quality of care of our beneficiaries. We look forward to hearing about the activities and outcomes that will occur nationwide on April 16 and beyond!