Joining VNAA's Engaging in Quality Learning Collaborative
A Business Case
Saturday, September 1, 2012
by: VNAA Education and Quality Team

Section: Quality and Educational Programming

Join the Leaders in Home Care and Participate in this New Virtual Learning Collaborative!
The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) has developed the Engaging in Quality Virtual Learning Collaborative to help your agency quickly address the significant issues coming to all agencies – issues that can negatively affect your finances and your position as an invaluable partner in your community. This Collaborative will provide Webinars and online tools to help your agency understand and implement the newest and most successful processes to improve quality and outcomes with the additional benefit of helping your net income. This Collaborative is set up so your staff can begin improving quickly; and the cost is reasonable.
Why Join?
Improving an agency’s quality of care is not only good for patients; it also makes financial sense for the bottom line.
This Engaging in Quality Collaborative builds on successful learning collaboratives that are already in place. Our team has studied the successes and challenges of these collaboratives, [including groups like Aligning Forces for Quality and Safer Healthcare Now] to build a Collaborative that we feel will be effective.
Participating in the Engaging in Quality Collaborative can help your hospital partners decrease their hospital readmissions for Heart Failure, Pneumonia and AMI and avoid a 1% reduction in Medicare reimbursement.
By joining, you can partner with other nonprofit organizations and get the support and skills you need to transform your organization into a Learning Organization.
You will give your key leaders the skills to succeed, work with experts, utilize resources as well as gain skills and knowledge on getting staff buy-in, their engagement AND reduce hospitalization rates: the key measure of home health quality.
What is the Issue?
There is a transformation underway in health care today. The most important change is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) appear to be moving to a value-based purchasing (VBP) program, which would base reimbursement on quality of care. While this change would link quality to reimbursement, the reimbursement model is not available and does not currently have a clear link to quality. Additional changes underway include the growth of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), care coordination models and bundling demonstration programs that are seeking partners to collaborate with improving patient clinical care while saving costs. The aim of these programs is to hold providers accountable for the quality of care and to promote effective and efficient care processes.
Why is this Important?
These new programs provide an immediate catalyst for home care agencies to improve and sustain their quality measures.
How Can the VNAA Help your Agency Survive and Thrive?
Participation in the VNAA Engaging in Quality Collaborative will:
  • Prepare your organization to compete in your area as quality becomes aligned with changes in the reimbursement model;
  • Provide the knowledge and skills to build your quality infrastructure to become an adaptable organization prepared to make the changes necessary for quality improvement;
  • Present a vision of change for the organization - giving you the steps and strategies for improvement such as providing interventions to reduce hospitalizations;
  • Connect a team of your colleagues to come together to share best practices and lessons learned in an transparent environment - increasing the pace and level of achievement;
  • Offer the capacity building best practices and the Engaging in Quality Collaborative at a reasonable cost to achieve successful outcomes;
  • Accelerate movement along the innovation curve; and
  • Improve state survey results and accrediting agencies survey results -- as OBQI is now part of surveys.

Your Bottom Line Will Benefit:
By joining the VNAA Engaging in Quality Collaborative, the decision to invest in quality procedures will result in many of the following:
  • Excellent clinical results will provide your organization with a competitive advantage over other agencies, making your agency a better candidate as a referral source or preferred partner;
  • A competitive advantage can give your organization negotiating leverage in seeking better reimbursements and performance-based payments;
  • Medicare and Medicaid programs are moving rapidly to performance-based or “value based” payment arrangements that will reward high performers and penalize agencies that are lagging;
  • Costs will decrease as there is less rework, fewer mistakes, and more efficient and effective use of equipment time, staff and materials; and
  • Capture the market and enhance your organizations reputation in the community with your partners.
What are the Costs if I Don’t Join?
  • Changes may not be made in your organization until it is too late resulting in the possibility of losing the competitive advantage in your community;
  • Your organization may not understand how to get staff buy-in and engagement to  be effective in adapting new approaches or interventions;
  • Quality leaders may not have the skills to facilitate teams and understand data;
  • Your organization may not be able to move quickly enough to make the rapid changes and improve publicly reported measures –affecting your ability to partner and share costs; and
  • Your organization may incur increased nursing/therapy visits and increased costs and lost market share.
What Participants Can Expect:
It will include:
  • Low costs and quick start-up;
  • A toolkit to provide best practices, real time data to be successful;
  • Communication and marketing materials to use in your community and in your organization to demonstrate your commitment to quality care;
  • An online infrastructure and capacity building series that will provide you with the “right skills” to initiate and sustain changes in your organization;
  • Access to the most relevant and success interventions in home care for reducing hospitalizations and improving patient experience; and
  • The Engaging in Quality Collaborative –where organizations make changes in small steps and learn from these while using the Rapid Cycle Changes and Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) processes.
Joining the VNAA’s Engaging in Quality Collaborative will require your organizations commitment to change and participation in an online Webinar series on capacity building and best practices as well as the willingness to pay necessary support fees. These fees will be assessed based on organizational size.
What Will the VNAA Engaging in Quality Collaborative Require of Me and My Agency?
  • Commitment of working toward the program goal of reducing hospitalizations by an agreed upon date;
  • Commit to forming a multidisciplinary team to identify, test and implement tools and strategies to achieve the program goals;
  • Commit to submitting data on best practice performance measures to the VNAA on a monthly basis;
  • Commit to participating in learning activities including monthly conference calls, submission of progress reports and sharing of stories, successes, challenges and resources;
  • A committed to standardize and hardwire effective best practices to achieve sustainable improvement;
  • Commit to regularly report to our Engaging in Quality Collaborative Project Coordinator on progress and lessons learned; and
  • Pay a subscription fee to cover a portion of the administrative/data fees.
How Much will it Cost to Join?
The Engaging in Quality Collaborative will take place over 15 months beginning in January 2013. A subscription fee will be charged to agencies choosing to participate and will fund a portion of the cost of administrating the project and providing data storage and feedback to you. Other sources will cover the balance of the cost.
The breakdown of the fees is based on agencies size/revenues and fees for nonmembers:
  • $1,250 ($1 Mil and less)
  • $2,250 ($ 1 – 2.9 Mil)
  • $4,500 ($ 3 – 9.9 Mil)
  • $5,500 ($10 to 19.9 Mil)
  • $6,500 ($20 Mil and above)
  • $8,000 (non-members)

How Do I Join?
Joining this exciting initiative will move your organization to become an innovative organization prepared for the challenges of today and tomorrow!
Lauren Chandler
VNAA Project Coordinator
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