Better Health Greater Cleveland

In 2007, northeast Ohio health care systems, health plans, employer groups, and community organizations established Better Health Greater Cleveland to improve health and health care while reducing costs. The collaborative develops and disseminates evidence-based care transformation strategies focused on primary care for chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Across the region, the collaborative's programs have helped more than 700 primary care providers from 12 health care systems adopt patient-centered models of care, use electronic health records more effectively, and regularly measure care to identify opportunities to continuously improve.

Summary of Activities:

Better Health offers numerous programs, including onsite coaching for quality improvement and building team-based care, to advance primary care practices' adoption of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. The PCMH model emphasizes care coordination, stronger doctor-patient engagement, improved access to primary care services, and proactive management of chronic conditions. Since 2009, more than 52 practices achieved National Committee on Quality Assurance PCMH recognition with the collaborative's help to drive higher quality, patient-centered care at lower costs.

Primary care practices' transition to the PCMH model is enabled by effective measurement and actionable feedback on the care they provide. Providers who participate in Better Health agree to provide clinical quality measures every 6 months. All participating practices have adopted or are in the process of adopting electronic health record systems from which clinical data are provided to Better Health's Data Center. The collaborative uses these timely data to provide system- and community-level benchmarks on accepted measures of quality that practices can act on and to deliver timely reports to the community on provider-level quality and regional trends. Further, Better Health mines the data to identify positive outliers, verifies that the results followed deliberate actions to improve, and invites the high-achieving practice to share its processes so others can replicate the success. Learning networks and events such as the biannual Learning Collaborative Summits convene providers from across northeast Ohio and provide an opportunity to spread best practices, showcase successes, and overcome common challenges.

Better Health's efforts to improve primary care for patients with common chronic conditions are reducing hospitalizations in northeast Ohio. Trends in hospitalization rates for these conditions were stable from 2003 to 2008 for Ohio's six most populous counties, including Cuyahoga, home to Cleveland, where Better Health primarily is engaged. But from 2009 through 2011, when the collaborative's activities were well under way, Cuyahoga County experienced lower hospitalization rates than the other counties in the State, avoiding an estimated 1,928 admissions and $13.5 million in associated costs. Across the region, Better Health's efforts have achieved a 60 percent reduction in emergency room visits, resulting in 25 percent lower costs than estimated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and $50 million in savings.

Alignment to the National Quality Strategy (NQS):

NQS priorities of the Better Health Greater Cleveland program:     Promote the most effective prevention and treatment practices for the leading causes of mortality, starting with cardiovascular disease.     Make quality care more affordable for individuals, families, employers, and governments by developing and spreading new health care delivery models.

Care transformation efforts such as these:

  • Promote the most effective prevention and treatment practices for the leading causes of mortality, starting with cardiovascular disease.
  • Make quality care more affordable for individuals, families, employers, and governments by developing and spreading new health care delivery models.

Contact:

Better Health Greater Cleveland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, one of 14 alliances in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's signature Aligning Forces for Quality grant, and a member of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. Learn more about Better Health Greater Cleveland.

Page last reviewed March 2017
Page originally created November 2016
Internet Citation: Better Health Greater Cleveland. Content last reviewed March 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/priorities-in-action/better-health-greater-cleveland.html