Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System Joins Medicaid Transformation Project


Henry Ford Health System in Detroit has joined 16 other health systems in the U.S. on the Medicaid Transformation Project, a national effort to transform health care and related social needs for the nearly 75 million Americans who rely on Medicaid.

AVIA, a network of 35 health systems, and Town Hall Ventures, both of which are helping lead the project, made the announcement Wednesday.

“Healthcare today must be consumer-centric and engage patients with personalized experiences,” says Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of San Francisco’s Dignity Health, one of the anchor health systems. “Together, we must bring down health-care costs in order to provide access for the most vulnerable communities. It is my hope that our collaboration will unleash new avenues that bring down barriers to care and improve the overall health of our communities.”

The work will focus on five challenges facing vulnerable populations across the country, including behavioral health, women and infant care, substance abuse disorder, and avoidable emergency department visits.

Henry Ford is not one of the anchor health systems. Together, the systems span 21 states, have more than 53,000 hospital beds, and more than $100 billion in combined annual revenues.

“We’ve seen exciting and positive momentum with digitally enabled solutions that engage our physicians, caregivers, patients, and consumers. Through the Medicaid Transformation Project, we know we can share what we’ve learned with other systems and amplify our ability to help patients through what we learn from these impressive partners,” says Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Washington’s Providence St. Joseph Health, another anchor health system.

One in five Americans is covered by Medicaid, and 50 percent of U.S. births are financed by Medicaid. Medicaid is the country’s No. 1 payer for behavioral health services, and 33 cents of every dollar for a physician’s services are paid by Medicare or Medicaid.

“The current healthcare system fails the people who need it most,” says Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of CMS and founder and general partner at Town Hall Ventures. “The Medicaid Transformation Project will be part of a decade-long journey leading some of the best health systems in the country. Our work will be to deepen and refine the best innovations and then implement them at an accelerated pace at providers across the country.”

The project will assemble a core team at each health system to implement solutions. They will share best practices across the network, creating a roadmap for partner organization to act quickly to create change. The work will feature a leadership council chaired by Slavitt and composed of health system CEOs to maintain course.

The project is a two-year mission.

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