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Collaborative Efforts in Healthcare to Bridge the Gap in Patient Care Access

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Ayanna Amadi
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Collaborative Efforts in Healthcare to Bridge the Gap in Patient Care Access

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As communities face the impending closure of Hospital Sisters Health System's (HSHS) hospitals and clinics, several healthcare organizations are stepping up to ensure continued patient care access. This collaborative approach involves a range of services, including primary medical care, mental health counseling, urgent care, and substance use disorder services, provided by NorthLakes Community Clinic, the Remedy, and Pivotal Health. In addition, Mayo Clinic and Aspirus Health are expanding their resources, while OakLeaf Medical Network plans to purchase some of HSHS's hospital properties.

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Wisconsin Health Systems Respond to Hospital Closures

In the affected communities of Chippewa and Eau Claire counties, Wisconsin lawmakers are collaborating with health systems to ensure that patient care does not falter due to the closure of two HSHS hospitals. Aspirus Health is making its closest locations more accessible and finalizing its affiliation with St. Luke’s. The state legislators have proposed a $15 million grant to safeguard emergency department services in the impacted communities. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has urged HSHS to postpone the closures and maintain transparency. Other healthcare organizations like OakLeaf Medical Network and Marshfield Clinic Health System are also expanding their services in response to the closures.

Mayo Clinic Steps Up to Fill Care Gaps

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Mayo Clinic is making significant efforts to help close the gap in patient care in Western Wisconsin due to HSHS's departure. The initiatives include increasing capacity at critical access hospitals, boosting the capacity of the family birthing center, expanding emergency department and urgent care capacities, and promoting virtual care options. Mayo is also establishing a dedicated team for primary care patients, collaborating with other Mayo sites, expanding the capacity of the Advanced Care at Home program, prioritizing placement and recruitment for high-demand service lines, and participating in the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Recovery Task Force.

Quality Insights Spearheads Collaboration to Improve Healthcare Quality

Quality Insights, a non-profit organization, is seeking partnerships to improve healthcare quality in the Mid-Atlantic region. If awarded, they will collaborate with healthcare providers, community organizations, patients, and advocates to impact care in nursing homes, hospitals, clinician practices, and the community. They will implement CMS' A3C model (assess, complement, coordinate, create) to achieve shared goals. Quality Insights has been involved in healthcare quality improvement for over 50 years and is currently working on CMS quality initiatives in multiple states.

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Managing Healthcare During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic posed several challenges for hospital managers in terms of reorganizing services without compromising care. These experiences provide valuable insights into the necessary resources, including clear concise information, staff support, and professional and technical resources, needed during such crises.

Addressing Homelessness as a Health Issue

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have launched a new initiative, the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator. This program aims to help states unlock resources to reduce homelessness by addressing health-related social needs, such as housing-related services. The impact of this initiative is significant as it will provide intensive federal technical assistance to the selected states to support their implementation of clinically-indicated housing-related services and supports under their Medicaid programs for people with complex health needs experiencing homelessness.

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