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MaineHealth Selected as Innovation Partner in
National High-Value Health Collaborative
Health systems and Department of Defense join collaborative to share data on outcomes,
quality and costs across range of costly conditions and treatments

PORTLAND, Maine - May 17, 2011- MaineHealth, the state's largest integrated healthcare system, announced its selection as an innovation partner in the High-Value Health Collaborative formed by Mayo Clinic, Denver Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Cleveland Clinic and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. The collaborative will determine best practices for delivering healthcare and rapidly disseminate actionable recommendations to providers and health systems across the United States. In addition to achieving better quality and outcomes, the collaborative intends to improve the efficiency of standard clinical care delivery to reduce the per capita cost and to keep costs in pace with the consumer price index.

Dr. James N. Weinstein, director of The Dartmouth Institute and president of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, said, "We believe that physicians and healthcare leaders are in a key position to implement meaningful change that makes care safer, more efficient, more effective and more attuned to each patient's needs and preferences. At the same time, based on our research and individual experience, we know that by doing this, we actually lower costs."

"MaineHealth is excited about the opportunity to contribute to the body of knowledge and learn from the other partners in the collaborative," said Bill Caron, president of MaineHealth. "We believe that one of the keys to our continued success is our ability to glean knowledge about innovations and advances in clinical care from the most sophisticated healthcare organizations in the nation and adapt them to our health system."

Vance Brown, chief medical officer for MaineHealth added, "MaineHealth has taken a leadership role in developing and implementing cutting-edge clinical integration and community-health improvement initiatives. For example, our Clinical Improvement Registry/Nurse Care Management Program has helped MaineHealth markedly improve quality care for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease."

MaineHealth is well positioned to partner with other members of the collaborative. Communities served by MaineHealth include some of Maine's most sparsely populated and remote areas, as well as the state's most populous, economically and ethnically diverse cities. With a median age of 41.2, Maine is the "oldest" state in the nation, with almost 58 percent of Maine elders living in rural areas, more than twice the national average. Lessons learned from MaineHealth's success and capacity for developing, implementing and spreading innovation across diverse settings is transferable to other communities in the country.

MaineHealth was selected by the founding collaborative group based on a nomination and review process. Criteria included having strong research and quality improvement processes; a robust health information technology infrastructure; a commitment of personnel, operational, and financial resources; and demonstrated experience in collaboration across institutions. Other members include Baylor Health Care System, Beaumont Hospitals, Providence Health and Services, Scott & White Health Care, Sutter, UCLA Health System, University of Iowa Health Care, Virginia Mason Medical Center and the Military Health System of the Department of Defense.

The collaborative is working together in nine increasingly prevalent condition/disease-specific areas that have been shown to have wide variation in rates, costs and outcomes nationally: total knee replacement, diabetes, asthma, hip surgery, heart failure, perinatal care, depression, spine surgery and weight-loss surgery. 

Data on total knee replacement, a procedure that is performed more than 300,000 times a year in the U.S., with a cost that averages $16,000 to $24,000 per surgery, has been collected from the founding institutions and is currently being analyzed. Concurrently, work on diabetes has begun. Data analytics are facilitated through The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, the coordinating arm of the collaborative. The Dartmouth Institute, home to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, has more than 20 years of experience analyzing complex Medicare claims data and disseminating the findings.

About MaineHealth
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated delivery networks, MaineHealth includes the following member organizations: LincolnHealth (Miles Memorial Hospital and LincolnHealth – St. Andrews Campus & Healthcare Center), Maine Medical Center, Maine Mental Health Partners (Spring Harbor Hospital), Pen Bay Healthcare (Pen Bay Medical Center), Southern Maine Medical Center, Waldo County Healthcare (Waldo County General Hospital), Western Maine Health (Stephens Memorial Hospital), HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Maine Physician Hospital Organization, NorDx and Synernet. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, New England Rehabilitation Hospital and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center.

About the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
The Dartmouth Institute aspires to be the preeminent research and educational institution devoted to the ongoing reform of the U.S. healthcare system. Its vision is to achieve a patient-centered, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare system with access and excellence for all.


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