Section: Spotlight Articles, April/May 2017
From the CEO's Desk
The news headlines may lead us to believe that policy-makers can't agree on anything. Not so fast. There is an issue both Republicans and Democrats can and do agree on: the importance of Community Health Centers to our U.S. healthcare system.

Health centers have been around for more than five decades, successfully responding to sickness and poverty in some of our most challenged communities. In March, about 40 Tennessee health center advocates traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the members of our Congressional delegation. Our group included health center CEOs, board members, physicians, and many other representatives of health center staffs. We described the services provided by their local health centers in their districts, recounting stories about the many ways patients have benefited from accessible primary health care.

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New Tools for Patient-Based Interventions in Primary Care
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Warm Handoffs patient intervention strategy, part of the agency's "Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care by Engaging Patients and Families," is a new set of tools for patient interventions in primary care.

A warm handoff is a verbal communication between two members of the health care team during transitions of care. It moves these conversations from outside of the exam room to inside and in front of the patient (and family if they are present). This safety check strategy allows patients to validate and verify information relevant to their care, and may improve clinical outcomes.

Click here to access the Implementation Quick Start Guide for this intervention and other related tools and resources.
Application Now Available for TennCare's PCMH Program
In partnership with TennCare's three health plans, the Tennessee Division of Health Care Finance and Administration (HCFA) launched a statewide aligned Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) program with 29 organizations on January 1, 2017. PCMH is a comprehensive delivery care model designed to improve:

  • The quality of primary care services for TennCare members.

  • The capabilities and practice standards of primary care providers.

  • The overall value of health care delivered to the TennCare population.

  • CLICK THE HEADLINE to read more.
TDOH Updates Reportable Diseases Information
The Tennessee Department of Health has updated the reportable diseases, reporting guidance, and reporting forms for 2017.

Communicable diseases are easily spread from person to person. Prompt reporting of communicable disease can allow public health officials to locate and treat exposed persons, identify and contain outbreaks, and interrupt disease transmission. The information obtained from disease reporting is also used to monitor disease trends, identify high risk groups, develop policy, and design prevention programs.

More information can be found on the TDOH website.