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Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality

March 2019 Newsletter

President's Column

President Chris Queram
Chris Queram

Collaboration is the hallmark of Wisconsin’s health care community and WCHQ has been a trusted convener and facilitator of focused, statewide improvement initiatives for 15 years. Over that time, Wisconsin’s provider community has improved clinical performance in multiple areas. However, there are measures where Wisconsin does not perform well related to the per capita cost of health care.

If Wisconsin health care provider organizations worked together to improve quality and earned our state a national reputation for high quality health care, can providers and stakeholders come together and focus their efforts on increasing the value of health care to our patients, employers and payers?

The WCHQ Board and members believe the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

Consistent with WCHQ’s mission to support activities that lead to high-quality, affordable health care, the WCHQ Board approved a "value acceleration" strategy that is being facilitated by WCHQ staff and will be adaptable to all member organizations.

The Affordability of Health Care is a Pressing Issue

The issue at hand among purchasers, payers, employers and consumers is that health care has become unaffordable. The cost of care for the patient is a concern for health care providers, too, who are being asked to help find a solution. Following months of research, planning and multi-disciplinary stakeholder meetings, the Board approved a strategy at their March meeting to improve the affordability of health care, and they asked WCHQ staff to create a framework for evaluating proposals.

The WCHQ Value Acceleration Initiative: What Is it?

The Board formed an ad hoc multidisciplinary stakeholder Advisory Group, chaired by Dr. Imran Andrabi, President/CEO, ThedaCare, to guide the implementation of the “WCHQ Value Acceleration” strategy during 2019. The Advisory Group’s role is to select one priority that WCHQ members and stakeholders will commit to that will drive greater value for patients, employers, insurers and providers. It is anticipated that the focus will expand to more than one clinical procedure/condition in 2020 and future years.

The Advisory Group’s recommended priority, which was later approved by the Board, is to focus on improving care for patients with multiple co-morbidities; specifically, diabetes, hypertension and depression.

The year one priority was selected based on an analysis of both clinical and claims data, member surveys and available literature. Improving care for patients and the efficiency by which care is delivered to patients with co-morbidities met the criteria that the Advisory Group established to evaluate priorities. The Advisory Group found that caring for patients with multiple morbidities are more costly, care coordination can be a challenge, and it represents an area with significant variations in practice. There are certainly opportunities to improve clinical performance that will lead to greater clinical efficiencies, better outcomes and it has the potential to lower costs for the patient, payer and employers.

A steering team will be formed to review available literature on the topic, collect data, and identify best practices among WCHQ’s members and in organizations outside of the state. Their findings will be shared in a report to members that will be useful in planning and implementing improvement work related to caring for patients with co-morbidities.

The Value Acceleration work is not new—it is the foundational work of WCHQ. It leverages the knowledge our members have accumulated about quality improvement and transparency and focuses it on providing better care for patients with multiple chronic diseases. The goals are better care, improved efficiencies, higher patient satisfaction, better outcomes and lower costs for patients, employers and payers.

It is a goal that, collectively, we can achieve in Wisconsin.


– Chris Queram


What Employers Want in Health Care Partners

Boeing’s Linda Brady to Keynote WCHQ April 16 Assembly Madison

Linda Brady ob Boeing
Linda Brady, Boeing

Employers have a growing interest in increasing the value of their health care spend and improving employee health. Boeing was one of the early adopters of direct, employer-to-provider contracting. The aerospace giant has more than 140,000 employees globally, giving Boeing Company nearly unprecedented clout in the health care market.

As the leader of provider network strategy and manager of Boeing’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) portfolio, Linda Brady is responsible for the initial contracting with preferred providers and engaging with them through the implementation and sustainment stages.

On April 16, Brady will describe Boeing’s approach to improving access, increasing quality and reducing expenses through direct contracts with providers at the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) Assembly, “The Health Care Imperative: Higher Value, Better Care,” at Monona Terrace, Madison. Registration is now open.

Brady has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt. She is an expert on health care measurement, analytics and benefit design.

WCHQ Members Will Share Transformation Journey April 16 – New Roles, New Goals

The April Assembly will feature two WCHQ members who will explain the changes they have made in their organizations to adapt to a new health care environment. Reedsburg Area Medical Center (RAMC) will describe their quality journey and work with WCHQ and the Practice Transformation Network (PTN). As one of the top performers in the PTN, RAMC will explain how they are preparing their health system for the pay-for-value environment.

The Assembly will also feature COO/CFO Jim Dietsche who will share how Bellin Health’s finance department has taken on new roles to transition the world of finance from volume to value.

Also at the April event, Gabrielle Rude, Ph.D., and Matt Gigot will describe WCHQ’s new initiatives and preview the quality performance and measurement work that is planned for the year ahead. Registration is free to WCHQ members.

Plan to Attend the WCHQ Statewide Quality Improvement Event Set June 5, 2019

Planning for the 2019 Statewide Quality Improvement Event is underway and you won’t want to miss this year’s conference. The theme this year will be how to improve care for patients with multiple chronic conditions; making the way care is experienced better for all patients and creating and optimizing the use of patient dashboards in the EHR, to name a few topics that will be covered.

The conference will be held at Monona Terrace in Madison. Registration will open later in April.


Sixteenth Street Community Health Center Hosts Latino Health Equity Summit April 9

The 2019 Latino Health Equity Summit: A Roadmap to Milwaukee’s Healthy Future, will take place on Tuesday, April 9 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Italian Community Center (631 E. Chicago Street Milwaukee, WI).

The program agenda including speakers and registration is available here.

Registration is $40 and sponsorship for students to attend free are available.


WCHQ Welcomes Pfizer, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative

Pfizer Common Ground


Kori Krueger, MD Appointed to Board Vice Chair

Kori Krueger, MD, an internist and pediatrician at Marshfield Clinic Health System, has been appointed to the position of Vice Chair of the WCHQ Board, as the previous Vice Chair -- David Rushlow, MD -- recently assumed the role of Board Chair. Dr. Krueger also serves as Chair of the Quality Planning Committee and has agreed to continue in this role for a few additional months to ensure a seamless transition to the Committee’s new Chair, Jesley Ruff, DDS, MPH. Kori has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.


WCHQ Career Opportunity: Program Manager for Regional Dental Health Collaborative

The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) is seeking an experienced, full-time Program Manager to lead its Regional Dental Health Collaborative. The successful candidate will:

  • Have exceptional and proven project management experience with the ability to develop and manage a detailed project plan from conception to completion focused on establishing a new dental health collaborative within WCHQ. Be able to work independently and with a variety of stakeholders at all levels of leadership.
  • Recruit participants from dental health organizations and stakeholder groups for active participation in the collaborative.
  • Develop a variety of reports, meeting summaries and progress tracking, as well as present project updates to internal and external stakeholders. Effectively plan and lead various meetings including educational conferences and improvement teams.
  • Identify best practices among members and in the literature to support improvement among members.
  • Knowledge of the dental health environment a plus.
  • A bachelor’s degree in administration, business, health care or relevant field is required, a master’s degree is preferred. Five years of relevant project management or quality improvement experience is required. Three years of experience leading a quality improvement team or project is desirable.

This position requires a valid Wisconsin driver’s license with the ability to travel to various locations (mostly same-day travel and occasional overnight).

The successful candidate will be able to work independently and be able to interpret and analyze quality data and reports. The candidate will also be able to demonstrate knowledge of and success in project management. The ability to communicate effectively in person and in writing is essential. Must have demonstrated knowledge of and success in implementing quality improvement interventions.

The position is not yet posted, but will be soon; at that time, to apply, go to https://careers.uwhealth.org/