OneCare launching care coordination software in four regions

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Vermont's largest accountable care organization is rolling out software that is expected to eventually help all doctors and hospitals in the state coordinate the care their patients receive.

OneCare Vermont, owned by the University of Vermont Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, will bring the technology, called Care Navigator, to four regions of the state by the end of June.

The software will first roll out through community health teams in Burlington, Bennington, Berlin and St. Albans, according to Sara Barry, the director of clinical and quality improvement for OneCare.

The community health teams will start using the software to manage care for small groups of patients, then expand over time. OneCare's vision is to implement the software in locations across the state by the end of the year.

The cost of the software is proprietary information, Barry said, but it will not cost participating community organizations any money.

Barry updated OneCare's board of managers at its regular meeting Tuesday. The board meets about every two months, and members of the public can request to attend the first 30 minutes of each meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16 at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin.

A limited liability company, OneCare is Vermont's largest accountable care organization and is composed of the state's largest hospitals. Vermont's other accountable care organizations, Community Health Accountable Care and HealthFirst, represent community health centers and independent doctors, respectively.

OneCare is designed to accept actuarial risk on behalf of its participating providers. The organization will eventually receive payments on behalf of doctors from Medicaid, Medicare and commercial insurance and then pay the doctors based on the healing value of the care they provide, rather than the number of procedures they perform.

OneCare could become the state's only accountable care organization, a regulated monopoly that could be empowered through the state's proposed agreement with the federal government to set up a so-called all-payer model. Depending on final terms, the organization could also morph into something called Vermont Care Organization that would include delegates from Community Health Accountable Care and HealthFirst.

The Care Navigator software is made by the New Jersey company BluePrint Healthcare IT. Care Navigator works in addition to each hospital's electronic medical records. The software draws information from the electronic medical records' clinical, quality and claims data.

The software's tools allow doctors to identify high-risk patient groups, Barry said Tuesday. OneCare eventually will be able to pull the data from the care navigation software, store that data internally, and then run analyses of patient health in specific population groups.

Barry said the data could help the organization answer questions such as, "Are they getting better? Are they adequately supported? What does it take for us to provide adequate care coordination support in terms of time and resources?"

She said another one of her visions is to, over time, help the whole patient population engage in preventive health.


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