Raimondo, Joined by Whitehouse, Launches Statewide Effort to Strengthen Healthcare System for All Rhode Islanders

 Raimondo, Joined by Whitehouse, Launches Statewide Effort to Strengthen Healthcare System for All  Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, today launched a statewide initiative to innovate healthcare by improving patient care and health outcomes, and lowering cost for all Rhode Islanders.

As part of the new effort, the Governor signed an Executive Order creating the Working Group for Healthcare Innovation and appointed a varied group of healthcare professionals, patient advocates, businesspeople and other policy leaders to examine and recommend improvements across Rhode Island’s entire healthcare system.

«We’ve shown that we can come together and take bold action that will keep people healthier, at a more affordable and predictable cost,» said Raimondo. «We have laid a great foundation for reform through Reinventing Medicaid, yet too many Rhode Islanders still cannot access the coordinated services they need to be healthy, and rising costs are still a major concern for businesses, families, and the State. As we continue to reform our Medicaid system, we can and must help more people make it in Rhode Island by expanding our focus beyond publicly-funded healthcare. I look forward to coordinating this work with Senator Whitehouse and Secretary Roberts.»


«Reforming our healthcare delivery system can unlock both lower costs and better care for Rhode Island patients,» said Whitehouse.  «I was proud to work with Neil Steinberg and healthcare leaders last year to help develop a blueprint to accomplish those goals, and I thank Governor Raimondo for taking that process to the next step.  The Governor has an opportunity to keep our state at the forefront of healthcare innovation, and I look forward to supporting her and our healthcare leaders in this effort.»

The state’s focus on healthcare innovation will draw on recommendations offered by a group of healthcare stakeholders Senator Whitehouse and Rhode Island Foundation President Neil Steinberg convened and will build on the Medicaid action plan the Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid recently completed.

The Working Group will focus on four specific sets of deliverables, due to the Governor in December, that support the triple aim:

  1. Develop benchmarks and a plan to establish a global health spending cap for Rhode Island;
  2. Identify an implementation plan to achieve the «80 by ’18» goals which tie 80 percent of healthcare payments to quality by 2018;
  3. Develop a vision for next-generation health information technology systems for all payers to improve care and reduce waste in the system; and
  4. Establish performance management frameworks to achieve population health and wellness goals outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy People 2020 report.

In its work, the group will support and coordinate healthcare reform work already underway in the state.

«Rhode Island has some of the finest healthcare services in the country, and great work is being done across our state to rethink the way we deliver and pay for care,» said Roberts. «We have an opportunity now to coordinate our efforts and build on the momentum of our Reinventing Medicaid initiative to drive effective, sustainable, affordable reform across our healthcare system. I am grateful to Governor Raimondo and Senator Whitehouse for their leadership in developing a more innovative healthcare system, and the members of the Working Group for offering their time and expertise to this important effort.»

Earlier this year, the Governor appointed a Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid, whose recommendations formed the basis for the Reinventing Medicaid Act of 2015, which achieved more than $70 million in state Medicaid savings and establishes incentive programs designed to reward hospitals and nursing homes for providing better coordinated care and achieving better patient outcomes. The Working Group recently completed a long-term plan to achieve better quality, coordination, and value for Rhode Island’s Medicaid system. Shifting Medicaid toward a model that pays for outcomes and quality rather than volume is a catalyst for wider reforms to the State’s healthcare system.

The Working Group for Healthcare Innovation will hold its first working meeting in August and present recommendations to Governor Raimondo in December. A current list of members follows.

Category Person Affiliation
Chair Elizabeth Roberts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Government TBD RI House
  Josh Miller RI Senate
  Juan Pichardo RI Senate
  Scott Avedisian City of Warwick
Insurers Peter Andruszkiewicz Blue Cross Blue Shield RI
  Steven Farrell United Healthcare of New England
  Peter Marino Neighborhood Health Plan
  Jim Roosevelt Tufts Health Plan
Hospitals Dennis Keefe Care New England
  Tim Babineau Lifespan
  Lou Giancola South County Hospital
  Lester Schindel CharterCare Health Partners
Providers Al Kurose Coastal Medical Group
  Dale Klatzker The Providence Center
  Steven Horowitz St. Elizabeth Community
  Diana Franchitto Home & Hospice Care of RI
  Louis Rice University Medicine
  Pablo Rodriguez Women’s Care
  Paul Calitri RI Dental Association
Donna Policastro Rhode Island State Nurses Association
  Jane Hayward Rhode Island Health Center Association
  Alvaro Olivares (invited) Hispanic Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at Butler Hospital
  Elizabeth Lange (invited) Pediatrician, Coastal Medical
  Al Puerini (invited) Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation
Labor Linda McDonald (invited) United Nurses and Allied Professionals
Business Al Charbonneau RI Business Group on Health
  John Simmons RI Public Expenditure Council
  Ted Almon Claflin Company
Other  Jack Elias Brown Medical School
  Neil Steinberg Rhode Island Foundation
  Ira Wilson Brown School of Public Health
  John Keimig Healthcentric Advisors
  Sam Salganik RI Parent Information Network
  Reginald Tucker-Seeley RI Commission on Health

Advocacy and Equity

  Laura Adams (invited) Rhode Island Quality Institute