For Immediate Release - March 30, 2015

Health Policy Commission Recognizes Harrington Healthcare System for Accomplishments in First Phase of Community Hospital Investment Program

CHART Program Supports Community Hospitals, Helps Deliver Quality and Effective Care

BOSTON – Friday, March 20, 2015 – The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) recently announced key accomplishments of Harrington HealthCare System and other participants in Phase One of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) Investment Program, a four-year community hospital program aimed at enhancing the delivery of efficient, effective care. The accomplishments were highlighted at the March 11, 2015 Board Meeting.

 

“Our partnership with community hospitals is a critical part of HPC’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost containment and quality improvement goals,” said David Seltz, Executive Director of the HPC. “These early accomplishments from Phase One show that the program is working successfully to build a more coordinated and affordable health care system in all corners of Massachusetts.”

 

The CHART Investment Program is a four-year program that makes phased investments for certain Massachusetts community hospitals to enhance their delivery of efficient, effective care. In October 2013, the HPC made $10 million available for Phase One investments and in January 2014 awarded 28 community hospitals with funds to enhance the delivery of efficient, effective health care across Massachusetts.

 

As part of Phase One, Harrington HealthCare System, with its main hospital in Southbridge, was awarded $491,600 to support local providers in joining the Mass HIway (the Commonwealth’s platform for exchange of clinical information among providers) to redesign the hospital’s behavioral health information system with a focus on efficiency and work flow enhancement, and to develop a plan to integrate services, including an assessment and capability survey, focus groups with consumers and review of evidence-based, successful models. As the first step in its long-range behavioral health system redesign initiative, Harrington extensively redesigned its IT systems to improve timely access to care.

 

As a result of this activity, Harrington reduced the amount of time it takes for a patient to schedule an intake appointment from 5-7 days to less than 24 hours for 100% of behavioral health patients, resulting in greater certainty of follow-up care. Harrington also reduced time for follow-up outpatient behavioral health appointments from 21-30 days to an average 11 days, resulting in timelier follow-up care.

 

“Harrington was pleased to be awarded the CHART Phase I grant, which gave us a significant head-start in the expansion of behavioral health services within our community,” said Ed Moore, Harrington HealthCare President & CEO. “Our projects were purposefully selected to enhance communication and data exchange among providers, which will ultimately lead to better continuity of care for our patients. We are proud of the results so far and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with the Health Policy Commission through CHART Phase II.”

 

CHART-wide accomplishments for Phase One include:

 

  • More than 2,200 hospital employees trained;
  • 27 hospitals primed for a system transformation;
  • Approximately 160,000 patients have been positively impacted by Phase One initiative;
  • More than 300 community partnerships were formed or enhanced by Phase One awardees; and
  • More than 400 hours of direct technical assistance given to Phase One awardees.

 

In October 2014, HPC announced awards to 28 community hospitals with a groundbreaking $60 million in investments to improve community-oriented care for patients with complex social and medical needs, and to increase access to high quality behavioral health services through CHART Phase Two. A complete listing of awards is located here.

 

As part of the Phase Two awards, Harrington was awarded $3.5 million to support enhanced cross-continuum behavioral health services through expansion of partial hospitalization, the creation of a new inpatient psychiatry unit on Harrington’s Webster campus aligned with community need, and engagement of primary care providers in caring for high-risk behavioral health patients. This award will build on the success of Phase One and work to further increase access to behavioral health services for residents of South Central Massachusetts.

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The HPC is an independent state agency that monitors reform in the health care delivery and payment systems and develops policies to reduce overall cost growth while improving the quality of patient care. To learn more, please visit www.mass.gov/hpc or follow us on Twitter @Mass_HPC.

To learn more about Harrington HealthCare, visit www.harringtonhospital.org.