Vermonters on how to improve access to primary care

As far as health delivery and payment goes, there’s much innovation to be found north of here. Craig Jones of the Vermont BluePrint for Health was among the speakers at a recent Alliance for Health Reform panel on primary care in DC.

Here’s a summary of his presentation. You can find more and a full transcript on the AllHealth website. 

Dr. Craig Jones, director of Vermont Blueprint for Health, followed with another example of a state health care reform program that is increasing control of quality and cost by advancing a primary care foundation for the health care system.  Like Minnesota, Vermont is instituting payment system reforms to promote quality and outcome reporting to validate the effects of reform.  Dr. Jones also spoke about Community Health Teams, which are unique to Vermont and include social workers, nutrition specialists, and community health workers.  Vermont expects the services provided by Community Health Teams to strengthen the primary care foundation of their health care system and be very cost-effective by preventing hospitalizations and chronic conditions.  Dr. Jones closed by assuring the audience that the ACA was essential for state-led health care reform.  He listed several sections of guidelines, research and evaluation systems, and innovation grants that will facilitate states making the investments necessary to transform into high-performing, primary care-based systems.

From the program’s web site:

Vermonters learning to live healthier.

The Blueprint works to help Vermonters who have chronic conditions stay as healthy as possible – improving their quality and enjoyment of life and avoiding the need for complex care later when illness is harder to treat. Hundreds of Vermonters have attended Healthier Living workshops sponsored by the Blueprint. These self-help workshops teach individuals to manage their chronic conditions and improve their health.

Communities taking action for health.

Communities all over the state are joining the Blueprint to become healthier places to live, work, learn and play. The Blueprint guides and funds hospital service areas and communities to assess local infrastructure, start coalitions, recruit health care providers, host Fit & Healthy Vermonters events and Healthier Living workshops – encouraging everyone to take charge of their health.

A new medical information system.

Having the right information at the right time is essential for providing the best possible care for patients. The Blueprint is developing a web-based chronic care patient information system that is free to health care providers and requires only Internet access.

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