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Byron Health Center Chosen for OPTIMISTIC Phase 2 Project

One of Only Two Area Nursing Homes Asked to Participate in Broadened Scope

Fort Wayne, IN – Byron Health Center continues to excel in moving forward with unique and ingenuitive health care practices. The latest endeavor includes being chosen to participate in the OPTIMISTIC Phase 2 project. The overall aim of OPTIMISTIC is to reduce unnecessary hospitalization of nursing home patients. This is achieved by placing RNs and NPs in long-term care (LTC) facilities to extend clinical resources, implement evidence-based tools to improve care and communication and lead efforts in advance care planning. OPTIMISTIC empowers nursing facilities to transform care by implementing evidence-based strategies to improve medical, transitional and palliative care. Byron Health Center was chosen to participate in the project due to its highly-rated quality measures, population and consistent efforts of improvement.

Indiana University’s OPTIMISTIC project is an ongoing, statewide, $30.3 million, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) Center for Innovation demonstration project running from September 2012 to September 2020. In the first phase of the project (2012-2016), RNs and NPs were embedded in 19 central Indiana nursing facilities to deliver a multicomponent program to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. In Phase 2 (2016-2020), an additional payment model is being tested in a cohort of 25 new facilities as well as our current facilities. Byron Health Center was chosen as one of 25 new facilities. OPTIMISTIC is led by Dr. Greg Sachs and Dr. Kathleen Unroe with the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Indiana University Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, together with our local partners, including the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community.

Working closely with facility staff, OPTIMISTIC team members align their efforts along three primary goals: 1) Improving Medical Care Early recognition and management of acute conditions through resident-centered, evidence based chronic care management, onsite training and mentorship for nursing home staff; 2) Enhancing Transitional Care by improving provider-to-provider communication, family and caregiver education of transition procedures and focus on follow-up with receiving physicians; and 3) Supporting Palliative Care through Systematic Advance Care Planning, improved support and education for palliative care and increased access to pain and symptom management.

The OPTIMISTIC model of care embeds a collaborative clinical team in nursing facilities to optimize chronic disease management, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and help residents develop and meet their goals of care all the while, improving care for nursing home residents, getting them better care quicker and reducing costly admissions to the hospital. Byron Health Center is proud to be part of this pilot program discovering new ways to give better care while lowering costs, improving healthcare throughout the state of Indiana.

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