Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality

DECEMBER 2019 Newsletter

President's Column

President Chris Queram
Chris Queram

This past year, WCHQ staff had the privilege of meeting with the executive teams of nearly every member. While the geography varied as we crisscrossed the state, the challenges providers are facing were the same—how to continue to provide high quality care to all patients despite fiscal constraints.

An agenda item that evoked a lot of interest and discussion during the member meetings was the WCHQ Value Acceleration Initiative (VAI). When the WCHQ Board approved the initiative early in 2019, there was universal support for its basic aim: to provide better, more affordable care. Over the past year, WCHQ staff and work groups comprised of members, payers and purchasers, created a framework for evaluating member-submitted proposals that will improve the affordability of health care.

For the VAI to move forward, Board consensus will be required in 2020 to approve recommendations that will improve care and make it more affordable for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Approval means the Board will actively support the implementation of the recommendations in their own organization. Staff will develop an implementation plan for the initial recommendations that reflects the heterogeneity of the Wisconsin payer marketplace and leverages the role of employers and providers.

WCHQ will start this work at the same time we will begin to shift measurement to include one or more measures that address the cost of care in 2020. Measuring cost of care can be strengthened by integrating clinical quality and claims data. The first step toward this occurred earlier this year when WCHQ and the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) announced a joint venture, 360ValuCounts. 360ValuCounts will create a unique data asset that will allow WCHQ members to evaluate cost and quality in ways that are not currently possible.

The VAI work required WCHQ to engage new stakeholders in our work, including payers and purchasers. This brought an important perspective to the VAI as members and payers collaborate to develop strategies to incentivize quality through plan design with a goal of reducing the measurement burden, improving quality and moving to value-based reimbursement.

Seeing the value of payer participation in WCHQ’s VAI work and beyond, staff have been assessing various options to more fully engage non-provider owned health plans and payers that will be considered by the Board at its January meeting.

Many of the initiatives started in 2019 will continue to evolve and mature in 2020. We are constantly inspired to do more, work harder and be innovative to better serve you—our valuable members. We thank you for the privilege to be your partner.   


- Chris Queram

Dr. Jeff Grossman Joins WCHQ Team as Medical Counsel

WCHQ is excited to announce that Jeff Grossman, MD, is joining the WCHQ team as Medical Counsel in 2020. He retired a few years ago from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine (UWSMPH) and UW Health, where he spent his entire professional career, first as a resident and fellow, then as a faculty member, clinician, and health care administrator.

Dr. Grossman began his career as a clinician specializing in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Care. Over the course of his career, he went on to hold many administrative positions at UW, including Director of Critical Care, Chair of the Department of Medicine, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, CEO of the UW Medical Foundation, and CEO of UW Health.

Throughout his career, Dr. Grossman had a strong interest in creating bridges between what we know and what we do, providing pathways for making it “inescapably easy” for clinicians to care for patients in the most evidence-based, efficient and patient-centered ways. He was a founding member of the Madison Patient Safety Collaborative, an early effort through which the Madison-based health care systems worked to create a “rising tide lifts all boats” ethic in pursuing combined efforts at improving safety and quality of care in the Madison area. This became a model for quality and safety collaboratives across the country. With support from the Wisconsin Partnership Program and UW Health, he initiated the Health Innovations Program (HIP) at UWSMPH. Led by Maureen Smith, MD, MPH, PhD, HIP is dedicated to creating and consolidating health care knowledge in pursuit of better patient outcomes and healthier communities. It is a vibrant center for health services research.

Dr. Grossman represented UW Health to WCHQ from the inception of its membership and looks forward to revisiting WCHQ’s work from a more global perspective. As Medical Counsel, he will work closely with Dr. Smith and the team at HIP in helping deploy the WCHQ Value Acceleration recommendations through a “learning health collaborative” framework.

“From its inception, WCHQ has helped Wisconsin health care organizations pursue the ‘true North’ of continuous improvement in the care of Wisconsin citizens,” Dr. Grossman noted, “I’m delighted to be joining WCHQ to lend a clinician’s perspective to this important pursuit.”

Dr. Grossman will join WCHQ at the January Board meeting as the Value Acceleration recommendations and deployment strategy are unveiled.


WCHQ and RWHC Update Rural Chronic Disease Toolkit

WCHQ, in partnership with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC), has released an updated version of the Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease Toolkit 2019. The scope of the toolkit that focuses on hypertension and diabetes has been expanded to include new tools and resources on topics related to care management, pre-visit planning, motivational interviewing and team-based care. Quality improvement professionals, nurses, physicians, patient care team members and administrative managers will find the toolkit helpful to their work.

A convenient new feature of the toolkit is the ability to print individual tools directly from the Table of Contents. To access the Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease toolkit and many others, create an account at the HIPxChange, and then navigate to the toolkits



February 18 Assembly - Reinventing Health Care: Inside Out or Outside In?

Featuring Dr. Craig Samitt, BCBS Minnesota and Dr. Tom Van Gilder, CMO, Walmart

Webinar only - Feb. 18, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM


In its first Assembly in 2020, WCHQ will bring together two recognized thought leaders to provide their perspectives on who will be influencing health care access, payment and policy over the next few years. Both presenters are focused on improving access and increasing the affordability of health care, which aligns with WCHQ’s Board-approved initiative to accelerate the value of health care in Wisconsin.

As President/CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, Craig Samitt, MD, MBA, has the expertise and the passion to change how health care is delivered.

In an interview with Managed Care in May 2019, Samitt suggested, “We should be more like Costco. The other organization that I think we need to be like is Netflix. Netflix became beholden to their supply chain. So, they got into a new part of the supply chain. I’m talking about creating their own content. So, if we’re beholden to content providers, so to speak—the deliverers of care that are reaping all the benefits of the industry, or not changing—and we want better content, we may need to get into the content business.”

Samitt has asserted that if health care is unwilling to reinvent itself, “someone will come along and reinvent us from the outside in.”

The second speaker is Thomas Van Gilder, MD, JD, MPH. Dr. Van Gilder is currently Chief Medical and Analytics Officer for Walmart Health and Wellness. He is leading and developing a clinical organization that spans primary care, dental, optical, hearing, behavioral health, and pharmacy services. He is also leading a growing clinical analytics group that supports existing pharmacies and clinics as well as new and innovative health offerings.

Van Gilder will describe Walmart’s future plans after recently opening a health care “super center” in Georgia that is described as the world’s largest retailer that offers a wide range of key health services under one roof.

View the Agenda and Bios

Registration is now open. This Assembly is available only by Webinar.

Note: WCHQ members must JOIN the Online Community to register at the member rate for this webinar. Click on JOIN.

For information contact Mary Kay Fahey, WCHQ.

2020 WCHQ Assembly and Statewide Quality Improvement Event Dates

All In-Person Events are at Monona Terrace, Madison

  • February 18 WEBINAR ONLY “Reinventing Health Care: Inside Out or Outside in? Featuring Drs. Craig Samitt, BCBS and Tom Van Gilder, Walmart
  • April 21: Behavioral Health
  • June 16: Statewide Quality Improvement Event, focus on Chronic Disease
  • September 17: Disparities
  • November 12: Adolescent and Child Health