Earlier this year, several teams from across HealthPartners took part in a national CMS challenge looking for ideas that deliver better health, improved care and lower costs for people enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. On Friday, June 15, the proposal submitted by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvements with help from HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research was awarded $18 million as part of this Innovation Challenge.
With the award, ICSI will work with the Mayo Clinic Health System and six other care systems around the country to expand Minnesota’s successful DIAMOND program for patients with depression, focusing specifically on those who also have diabetes and/or heart disease. Clinics currently involved in the DIAMOND program, including several HealthPartners Clinics, will also have the option to participate in the new program.
Leif Solberg, MD, director of care improvement research for the Institute, wrote the proposal and says this is an especially important group to target because studies show that more than half of patients with depression also suffer from other chronic conditions, which often leads to poor health outcomes and high health care costs.
With funds from the grant, HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research will lead the monitoring, data collection and assessment of the program and will look for ways to spread this new model of care both locally and nationally.
Care-team model helps patients with depression
The DIAMOND program — Depression Improvement Across Minnesota, Offering a New Direction—is a nationally recognized collaborative care approach to treating depression that launched in March, 2008. Patients are assigned a care manager that works closely with their primary care physician and a consulting psychiatrist to manage their health.
Patients in the program have a team of people working for them, Dr. Solberg says.
They have better follow-up, more support and intensification of treatment to increase the likelihood of achieving improvement or remission.
Dr. Solberg and a team at the Institute are currently studying the impact of this coordinated approach to depression care. Although results from that study are not yet available, data from ICSI suggests that remission rates for patients in the DIAMOND program are nearly double those receiving usual primary care.
CMS looks to support innovation around the country
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation received approximately 3,000 applications for Health Care Innovation Awards and will fund 107 projects over the next three years, including ICSI’s.
ICSI is a non-profit quality improvement organization established in 1993 with funding by HealthPartners. It is now sponsored by all the major health plans in Minnesota and has grown to include 55 medical groups and 85 percent of Minnesota physicians.
The other health care partners involved in ICSI’s national collaborative include Mayo Clinic Health System, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Community Health Plan of Washington, Pittsburgh Regions Health Initiative, Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, the Michigan Center for Clinical Systems Improvement and AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions).