Larry Lawhorne, M.D., selected for new Innovation Advisors Program

Initiative to help health professionals deepen skills to drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs

DAYTON, Ohio—Larry Lawhorne, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Geriatrics in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, has been selected to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Innovation Advisors Program.

The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, will help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs.

Lawhorne is one of 73 individuals from 27 states and the District of Columbia, and one of only three in Ohio, participating in the Innovation Advisors Program.

After an initial orientation phase, innovation advisors will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities. They will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States.

Dr. Larry Lawhorne and Judy Wyatt

Larry Lawhorne, M.D., will oversee the study of the Patient-Centered Medical Home for People Living with Dementia. Judy Wyatt is funding the study in honor of her mother, Stella, who has dementia. Learn more about the study.

 

“Each innovation advisor is responsible for implementing a project in his or her own community,” Lawhorne said. “Thanks to support from Wright State Physicians, the Boonshoft School of Medicine and Premier Health Partners, and a gift from the Wyatt Family Foundation, our project will focus on improving the care of people with dementia.”

The 73 individuals were selected from 920 applications through a competitive process, and include clinicians, allied health professionals, health administrators and others.

By attending in-person meetings as well as remote sessions to expand their skills and applying what they learn, the advisors will be able to deepen their knowledge in health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis and operations research.

“We’re looking to these innovation advisors to be our partners — we want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us bring them to every corner of the United States,” said CMS Innovation Center Director Rick Gilfillan, M.D.

Among other duties, the advisors will be expected to support the Innovation Center in testing new models of care delivery, to form partnerships with local organizations to drive delivery system reform and to improve their own health systems so their communities will have better health and better care at a lower cost.

Lawhorne’s project is a geriatric study of the Patient-Centered Medical Home for People Living with Dementia.

The pilot program will provide 30 households with easy access to both electronic health records and an interdisciplinary team for medical care.

“What we’re hoping is that this model will help people stay at home longer, safer, and also help the caregiver with caregiver stress,” said Lawhorne.

Along with delivering quality health care to people living with dementia, Lawhorne plans to determine the costs of providing that care.

Lawhorne hopes the patient centered home model will decrease trips to the emergency room and lower the number of falls and hospitalizations.

“Ultimately,” said Lawhorne, “we’d like to see the person maintain their personhood as long as they can.”

The Innovation Center was created by the Affordable Care Act to test new models of health care delivery and payment.

As part of its mission, the Innovation Center also seeks to offer technical support to providers to improve the coordination of care and share lessons learned and best practices widely throughout the health care system.

It is committed to transforming the Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP programs to deliver better care for beneficiaries, better health for populations and slower growth in expenditures through improvement for Medicare beneficiaries.

More information about the Innovation Advisors Program, including a fact sheet and a list of participants and their affiliated organizations, can be found Innovation Advisors Program website.

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Editor’s note: For more information, contact: Cindy Young, Director of Marketing and Communications, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, (937) 775-4839, cindy.young@wright.edu.