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Memorial Hermann Health System Joins Nationwide Effort to Transform Care for Vulnerable Populations

HOUSTON (August27, 2018)

Memorial Hermann Health System and 16 of the nation’s leading health systems are joining forces to identify, develop, and scale financially sustainable solutions that improve the health of underserved individuals and families in their communities. The Medicaid Transformation Project is a national effort to transform healthcare and related social needs for the nearly 75 million Americans who rely on Medicaid.

“Memorial Hermann is incredibly proud and excited to join our partners in the Medicaid Transformation Project in progressively addressing some of the most pressing healthcare challenges among the country’s most vulnerable populations,” said Carol Paret, senior vice president and chief community health officer at Memorial Hermann. “The goal is to channel the collective knowledge and capabilities of innovative healthcare leaders across the country to improve healthcare for those who need it most.”   

The work will focus on five critical challenges facing vulnerable populations across the country, four of which have already been identified: behavioral health, women and infant care, substance use disorder, and avoidable emergency department visits. Solutions that meet the needs of this diverse population will improve care for all vulnerable populations.  

Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation has addressed challenges identified by the Medicaid Transformation Project through programs that improve access to care for all populations, including: ER Navigation/COPE Program; school-based health centers; the Memorial Hermann Home Care Behavioral Health Program; Memorial Hermann Mental Health Crisis Clinics; and a free Nurse Health Line, available in six languages. Memorial Hermann also contributes more than $580 million annually in uncompensated care and community benefits.

Collectively, the participating health systems share a common mission and sense of urgency to advance sustainable solutions that improve health for their diverse communities. Together, they span 21 states, 280 hospitals with over 53,000 hospitals beds, and more $100 billion in combined annual revenues. The health systems, which represent five percent of the nation’s hospitals, will be able to better meet their communities’ needs through the proliferation and adoption of shared digital solutions and innovative care models.

The 17 health systems that have joined the Medicaid Transformation Project include:

The Medicaid Transformation Project will be led by AVIA, creators of the nation’s leading network for health systems seeking to innovate, and Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of CMS and Founder and General Partner at Town Hall Ventures. AVIA leads a network of 35 action-oriented health systems that collaborate to find, implement, and scale the best digital solutions to address common challenges.

“We are honored to partner with this powerhouse group of health systems and be an accelerant for the innovative work they’re doing to help vulnerable populations every day,” said AVIA President Linda Finkel. “These health systems are ready to have an even greater impact – by scaling sustainable care models and capabilities that can significantly improve the health of the underserved. And now, thanks to the potential to unlock digital solutions, there’s a stronger business case than ever. We are deeply privileged to be entrusted with leading this meaningful work.”

AVIA has tapped David Smith, formerly of Leavitt Partners, to lead the effort and has partnered with a number of leading Medicaid experts as active participants in the work, including Dr. Molly Coye, former Commissioner of Health for the State of New Jersey and Director of the California Department of Health Services.

“There is an incredible confluence of market and policy activity creating the right conditions to drive profound change for the least fortunate among us. Our health system partners believe that this moment is unique and their leadership can have a seminal impact in catalyzing nationwide energy and focus on the challenges facing our communities,” said Smith.