UPDATE: Local Palliative Care Outfit Launches Pilot Program



ResolutionCare has launched its education portion, Project ECHO, in a nine-month pilot program, also in conjunction with Partnership HealthPlan of California. 

Project ECHO uses a hub and spoke model to " demonopolizes the scarce resource of a palliative care team," according to a press release (see the illustration below, and read more about it here.)

ResolutionCare will provide teams with training and discussion at 10 Northern California health centers for 90 minutes, twice a month during the duration of the pilot program. Read the entire press release at the bottom of this post.

ResolutionCare, a locally based palliative care program that the Journal wrote about last year, just announced a partnership with a Northern California healthcare group for a 6-month pilot program.

Michael Fratkin, the founder of ResolutionCare, launched a successful crowdfunding campaign last year, and has been working to create a program that will allow more and more people to receive care at home in the final moments of their lives. Fratkin's model includes both in-person and telemedicine visits, as well as a networking and teaching component to spread palliative care knowledge among rural doctors and nurses.

The pilot program is in conjunction with Partnership HealthPlan of California, a state-contracted nonprofit that coordinates Medi-Cal care through local care providers, and is expected to provide in-home palliative care for 55 members of the company, which serves 14 Northern California counties, including Humboldt.

Here's the press release, and you can read more about ResolutionCare and Fratkin by following the link above:

ResolutionCare, an innovator in providing hospice and palliative care medicine (HPM) services today announced the launch of a pilot program to provide access to comprehensive home-based palliative care for members of Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC). PHC is a non-profit, community based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers to ensure Medi-Cal recipients have access to high-quality, comprehensive and cost- effective healthcare. The organization has more than 530,000 members in 14 counties throughout Northern California.

“ResolutionCare is leading the way in creating new care delivery models that are better aligned with where our drastically changing healthcare system is going,” said Michael D. Fratkin, MD, Founder/Director. “This important pilot program with PHC allows us to bring capable, compassionate palliative care to more people in their homes by combining in-person visits from a highly experienced clinical team with the latest in telemedicine technologies to stay connected with those under our care in between live visits.”

The six-month pilot program with PHC will enable ResolutionCare to provide HPM services to at least 55 PHC members throughout the 14 counties in its coverage area. At the end of the six-month pilot phase, the program may be extended to include more of the 530,000 PHC members who need palliative care services.
“Programs like this one with ResolutionCare enable the Partnership HealthPlan of California to expand access to much needed medical care for our members and evaluate high quality healthcare services providers,” said Dr. Robert Moore, Chief Medical Officer of PHC. “We look forward to a successful pilot program, and we hope we are able to expand our partnership with ResolutionCare beyond the six-month pilot phase,” he added.

About ResolutionCare

Founded in 2014, ResolutionCare is a pioneer and leader in community based palliative care using telemedicine and telementoring to bring capable and compassionate care to everyone everywhere as life approaches completion. A tandem organization, ResolutionCare FUND, an educational, not-for-profit, fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives and ResolutionCare Professional Corporation, ResolutionCare is dedicated to providing and teaching the highest quality of palliative care and harnessing the opportunities provided by cloud-based videoconferencing technology to care for people with serious illnesses entirely in their home. Team based and person-centered, ResolutionCare supports quality of life, empowered decision making, and self determination for people navigating life’s greatest challenge. The company is headquartered in Eureka, California.

About Partnership HealthPlan of California

Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC) is a non-profit community based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers to ensure Medi-Cal recipients have access to high-quality comprehensive cost-effective health care. PHC provides quality health care to over 530,000  members. Beginning in Solano County in 1994, PHC now provides services to 14 Northern California counties - Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity and Yolo.

The Project ECHO press release:

ResolutionCare Fund, an innovator in providing hospice and palliative care medicine (HPM) services and fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, working with Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC) announced today that it will deploy a unique learning model called Project ECHO® in a nine-month pilot program to extend the reach of limited specialist hospice and palliative care resources by training primary care teams as “Primary Palliative Care Champions.” PHC is a non-profit, community based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers to ensure Medi-Cal recipients have access to high-quality, comprehensive and cost effective healthcare. The organization has more than 530,000 members in 14 counties throughout
Northern California. Additional supporters of ResolutionCare Fund's pilot program include the California HealthCare Foundation, the Bertha Russ Lytel Foundation and the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership.

“At a time when healthcare resources are limited, and specialist palliative care resources in particular are severely stretched throughout this country, ResolutionCare Fund is looking at ways that we can extend the reach of our first class clinical team and leverage them as an educational resource,” said Michael D. Fratkin, MD, Founder/Director. “Primary care teams are now the sole source of care for many Americans through most of their lives, and Project ECHO offers a unique way for us to force multiply and train Primary Palliative Care Champions to address some of the shortages we have in access to hospice and palliative medicine nationwide,” he added.

Through a “hub-and-spoke” model, Project ECHO demonopolizes the scarce resource of a palliative care team; distributing valuable interdisciplinary expertise with the use of ongoing case based learning via videoconferencing technology. By establishing a real-time connection to the ResolutionCare Fund Team at the “hub” (physician, nurse, social worker, and chaplain) teams of learners at the “spokes” gather knowledge, confidence, and fulfillment as well as forming a community of learning with other participants at other “spoke” sites. This model will be used to train “Primary Palliative Care Champions” within primary care practices nationwide to provide high quality, compassionate hospice and palliative care medical services in communities where access to specialist palliative care teams is limited.

The nine-month pilot program with PHC will enable ResolutionCare Fund, using Project ECHO’s training model, to provide HPM training to primary care teams at 10 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) throughout Northern California. The pilot will include primary care and HPM teams meeting twice monthly for 90 minutes via a Zoom videoconferencing platform. “As a healthcare organization with members dispersed throughout a large region with some very remote locations, the ability of Partnership HealthPlan of California to provide comprehensive high quality palliative care services to all of our members can be challenging,” said Dr. Robert Moore, Chief Medical Officer of PHC. “Our partnership with ResolutionCare Fund, and the implementation of Project ECHO, allows us to train our primary care teams to provide some of those services and meet this challenge, so we are very excited by this opportunity and are looking forward to its success,” he added.

About Project ECHO

Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) based at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM, is a collaborative model of medical education and mentoring that empowers clinicians everywhere to provide better care to more people, right where they live. The ECHO model™ does not actually “provide” care to patients.

Instead, it dramatically increases access to specialty treatment in rural and underserved areas by providing front-line clinicians with the knowledge and support they need to manage patients with complex conditions such as hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, and behavioral health disorders among many others. It does this by engaging clinicians in a continuous learning system and partnering them with specialist mentors at an academic medical center or hub. As the ECHO model expands, it is helping to address some of the health care system’s most intractable problems, including inadequate or disparities in access to care, rising costs, systemic inefficiencies, and unequal or slow diffusion of best practices. Across the United States and globally, policymakers are recognizing the potential of ECHO to exponentially expand workforce capacity to treat more patients sooner, using existing resources. At a time when the health care system is under mounting pressure to do more without spending more, this is critical.

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