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Community Care of N.C. Wins Hearst Prize for Excellence in Population Health

March 8, 2016
by David Raths
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Program established real-time data connections with 87 hospitals

At the 16th annual Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia on March 8, Community Care of North Carolina was named the first winner of the Hearst Health Prize, a $100,000 award given in recognition of outstanding achievement in protecting or improving health.

Raleigh, N.C.-based Community Care of North Carolina won the award for its transitional care management model that includes medication management; self-management education; timely outpatient communication with medical homes to follow up on clinical and social issues that can affect outcomes. The program is delivered to 1.4 million North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries (including dual-eligibles) with a strong focus on identifying individuals with chronic medical conditions at risk for hospitalization or readmission.

Some impacts include:

• The rates of hospitalization and readmission for the target population have declined by 10% and 16%, respectively, since 2008.
• 9% reduction in in total Medicaid costs (cited by North Carolina Office of the State Auditor)
• Established real-time data connections with 87 hospitals (representing 78% of all Medicaid hospitalizations).

Gregory Dorn, M.D., president of Hearst Health, and David B. Nash, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health and one of the judges, made the announcement.

One finalist for the prize was the Centering Healthcare Institute. Its CenteringPregnancy program is an innovative approach to prenatal care that has reached more than 125,000 pregnant women in 400 practice sites across the country. It is a group care delivery model that brings women with similar due dates together for an extended time with their clinical provider to receive three components of care: health assessment, interactive learning, and community building.

Another finalist was Jersey City Medical Center – Barnabas Health’s Wealth from Health program. It provides incentives to engage patients, families and caregivers in education, care management and healthy behaviors. It serves adults and children with complex chronic diseases, including asthma, sickle-cell anemia, HIV, renal stage disease and behavioral health issues (approximately 2,500 individuals).

The next cycle of the Hearst Prize will open for submissions this spring. The goal is to discover, support and showcase the work of an individual, group, organization or institution that has successfully implemented a population health program or intervention that has made a measurable difference.