Innovative Ideas On The Table

Each of the innovation advisers has a project for the next year, and their home organizations will receive a stipend of as much as $20,000 to help cover some of the costs. Here are the advisors’ plans:

Dr. Stephanie Bruce wants to develop tele-monitoring for Washington Hospital Center’s medical house call program, which provides care to homebound seniors and helps prevent hospital visits. The program already has shown health quality benefits, so Bruce also wants to perform a study of the cost savings achieved by preventing hospitalization.

Dr. Alen Voskanian, medical director of VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, plans to pursue a project among chronically ill patients to help improve access to home care services. Like patients at the end of life, the chronically ill are a high-cost Medicare population who would benefit from fewer hospital visits.

Dr. Zahra Esmail hopes to expand the palliative care program at Los Angeles’ White Memorial Medical Center by bringing conversations about palliative care, and the related expertise, into the intensive care unit. There, patients and their families could have a discussion — if necessary– about end-of-life care within 24 or 48 hours of the patient’s admission.

Dr. Richard Young, director of research for the family medicine residency program at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, plans to look into a new billing system that better represents and compensates the time primary care doctors spend with their patients. With improved payment, Young expects more doctors will go into primary care, which will then improve health care access and quality.