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Title
Mercy Health Network to benefit from $10.1 million CMS Health Care Innovation Award
Start Date
07/10/2014
Article
Mercy Health Network (MHN) Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) and their allied clinics will begin transitioning to value based care thanks to a $10.1 million CMS Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The 25 CAH facilities and 73 clinics are located in 37 counties in Iowa and Nebraska. They are affiliated with MHN members— Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa and Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City. The grant application and research for the proposal was coordinated by Mercy Foundation in Des Moines and Mercy ACO.
“This grant will have a major impact on care delivered in rural Iowa,” says Mercy Health Network President and CEO David Vellinga. “The creation of MHN in 1998 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Catholic Health East | Trinity Health began the process of integrating care in a way that improved access to existing services which improved quality, safety and helped control costs. This grant will support our continued efforts to develop targeted and innovative methods of care by using information on the overall wellness, chronic conditions and health care needs in rural Iowa.”
Mercy Des Moines Senior Vice President and Chief Accountable Care Officer Dr. David Swieskowski will lead the project, which has the potential to benefit rural care in other parts of the country.
"We are excited about the opportunity that this grant will bring to our four Mercy Siouxland Regional Network Partners: Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital, Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Oakland Mercy Hospital and Pender Community Hospital," says Brian Monsma, VP of Network Development at Mercy Sioux City.
“Critical Access Hospitals are vital to their communities and the Iowa health care delivery system,” says Dr. Swieskowski. “Most CAH facilities have had no involvement with Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) which will play a major role in developing health care delivery of the
future. This grant will allow us to help CAH organizations build an infrastructure that will allow them to begin gathering meaningful data on the people and communities they serve. This will position CAH facilities so they can participate in value-based care and become involved in the care redesign process. New resources will be available for coordination of care and the care of chronic disease to best meet the specific needs of the patients. CAH facilities will also be able to benefit from shared savings generated by working with an ACO.”
More than 160,000 people could see benefits through better management of chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. This project will use the in-clinic health coach model developed by Mercy clinics in Des Moines. This model has been successful in delivering better care and controlling cost. It’s still being used successfully by Mercy ACO. Health coaches are achieving good results through education, prevention activities and encouraging better medication adherence by patients.

For more information, contact:
Gregg Lagan, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines (515) 247-3050
Deb Lemmon, Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City (712) 279-2294
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