Panel Presentation

(V4-01) Achieving the Quadruple Aim: Using Telemedicine in Nursing Homes to Reduce Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations

Sunday, April 23
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: W230 BC

Potentially avoidable hospitalizations are defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as hospitalizations that could have been avoided because the condition could have been prevented or treated outside of an inpatient hospital setting. Approximately 25% of all hospitalizations are potentially avoidable, nearly half come from nursing homes, and they cost CMS approximately $8 billion annually. A variety of legal, policy, regulatory, payment, and reimbursement models are impacting and accelerating the use of telemedicine to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations that come from nursing homes. Emerging research conducted by our team and others supports the use of telemedicine to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations in nursing homes. This 60-min presentation will provide a rich perspective of the various models and research supporting the use of telemedicine to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations in nursing homes. We will also propose and demonstrate how telemedicine can help achieve the quadruple aim (enhancing patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs, and improving the work life of health care providers) in nursing homes by reducing potentially avoidable hospitalizations.

Learning Objectives:

Steven M. Handler

Associate Professor/Chief Medical Informatics Officer
University of Pittsburgh/UPMC

Steven Handler, MD, PhD, CMD is an Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Division of Geriatric Medicine where is the Director for Geriatric Telemedicine Programs. He has secondary appointments in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Handler also serves as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Community Provider Services at UPMC Community and Provider Services Division and as the Medical Director for Telemedicine and Health Information for the RAVEN (Reduce AVoidable hospitalization using Evidence-based interventions for Nursing facilities in Western Pennsylvania) CMS Innovation Award. The main goal of this innovation award which is in 17 partner nursing homes, is to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations. The RAVEN project is the only CMS innovation award that has a telemedicine component to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations and CMS regards this as one of the most innovative concepts being tested as part of this evaluation.
Dr. Handler completed his medical school training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, residency at Tufts University and Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a practicing geriatrician with direct patient care responsibilities in the nursing home and hospital settings. His primary research area focuses on medication and patient safety primarily in the nursing home setting. For the past decade, Dr. Handler’s research has been at the intersection of biomedical informatics and geriatrics utilizing an active medication monitoring system to detect and manage adverse drug events among older nursing home residents. More recently, he has focused on the application of telemedicine in the long-term and post-acute care setting. Dr. Handler has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in various geriatrics, nursing, informatics, health services, and patient safety journals over the past decade.


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Julia Driessen

Assistant Professor
University of Pittsburgh Dept. of Health Policy and Mgmt.

Julia Driessen, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. She has secondary appointments in the Department of Economics and the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and is affiliated faculty at the Health Policy Institute. In 2011 Dr. Driessen completed her PhD in Economics at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on how economic incentives can support, or hinder, clinical best practices. She has examined this theme across an array of settings and interventions, including health information technology, Medicare prescribing, and inter-professional models of care. She is particularly interested in how telemedicine can jointly improve both clinical and economic outcomes, and has thought about this primarily in the context of potentially avoidable hospitalizations from nursing homes.


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Tracy Polak

Vice President of Clinical Operations
Curavi Health

Tracy M. Polak, CRNP, MSN is a Gerontological nurse practitioner and received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from Kent State University. Ms. Polak has spent her career providing care to older adults. She has experience in developing and implementing clinical and financial models that are dedicated to providing post-acute and end-of- life care to our aging population, including Health System integration amongst acute hospital systems, post-acute care networks, and managed care organizations.
Ms. Polak is an adjunct faculty member for the academic department of Health Promotion and Development University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. She actively participates in several national and state professional organizations that advocate for post-acute and end-of- life care. She is a Board member of PMDA: The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Ms. Polak was recognized as the 2015 PMDA Long Term Care (LTC) Practitioner of the Year Award for her contributions to post-acute and long-term care.
Ms. Polak is the Vice President of Operations for Curavi Health, INC. Her current role focuses on the importance of integrating geriatric principles of care with technology, including the use of telemedicine and clinical support in skilled nursing facilities. Prior to joining Curavi Health, Ms. Polak was the Senior Director of Geriatric Programs and Adult Telephonic Care Management at UPMC Health Plan where she developed clinical and financial models of care for UPMC Health Plan’s Medicare Advantage product, Special Needs Plan, and Institutional Special Needs Plan.


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(V4-01) Achieving the Quadruple Aim: Using Telemedicine in Nursing Homes to Reduce Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations

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