HEALTH HOMES MAKING THE MARK IN MEDICAID COST SAVINGS

 

GBUAHN leads the way in NYS DOH health home performance indicators

(BUFFALO, NY, February 15, 2016) – New York State Department of Health Medicaid health home performance indicators show The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) has outscored three other local Medicaid health homes in leading performance indicators. The findings reflect a steady rise in the number of GBUAHN health home members.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued the findings on February 9, 2016. The results show that the number of GBUAHN members rose from 184 at the end of December 2012 to 6,232 in November 2015, an increase of 3,286%. During that same time period, there was a significant reduction in GBUAHN enrollees’ emergency room utilization rate from 33% to 10%, the lowest rate among Erie and Niagara county Medicaid health homes.

“Reducing emergency room visits among our members is crucial to creating cost savings for the Medicaid program and therefore, taxpayers,” said Raul Vazquez, MD, GBUAHN CEO. “That’s part of what we call the health home ‘triple aim’ - improve the healthcare experience, improve the health of Medicaid recipients and reduce the per capita cost of healthcare. Our DOH numbers show that GBUAHN is doing just that.”

GBUAHN also dramatically reduced the number of inpatient hospitalizations for its members for 22 consecutive months according to the just-released DOH dashboard numbers. When the DOH first started tracking these statistics in April 2012, 14% of GBUAHN members were admitted to the hospital annually. By February 2015, that number had dropped to 3%.

The number of yearly primary care visits per health home enrollee has seen a significant increase in the reporting period from January 2012 – February 2015. Among local health homes in Erie and Niagara counties, GBUAHN members have the highest number of primary care doctor visits per year, at an average of 3.5.

In order for a Medicaid recipient to qualify for a health home, he or she must have at least two or more chronic conditions (such as diabetes or asthma); and/or one single qualifying condition of either HIV/AIDS or a serious mental illness.

“Primary care physician visits are important for everyone, but they are vitally important to Medicaid health home enrollees,” said Vazquez. “The diagnoses of GBUAHN members call for extensive follow-up and treatment. If not addressed properly, these are the types of health problems that often cause people to end up in the emergency room (ER). ER visits are very expensive and they eat up a lot of taxpayer money in Medicaid dollars. GBUAHN’s goal is to consistently treat health issues that call for close monitoring so that ER visits are reduced dramatically.”

Founded in 2012, the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) is a health home established under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Health homes coordinate care for people with Medicaid who have chronic health conditions or who are at risk for developing chronic health conditions. This free service integrates all primary care, acute, behavioral health and long-term services and supports to treat the whole person. Each person who joins is assigned to a patient health navigator (PHN). PHNs work closely with patients to get them the services they need in the community. For more information on GBUAHN, visit www.gbuahn.org

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at: http://www.impremedia.com/

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