CMS: Establishing Excellence in Healthcare Should Start with Patient Engagement

Today’s 18-page announcement (Read PDF Summary) from CMS creates goals that will soon be implemented as policies to drive an important behavior change in healthcare – patients, families and communities all working together to ensure the health and wellbeing of its members.  This will not be an easy task, but when CMS gets behind the drive for change, it has the power to kick-start a new way of thinking.

First, the focus is on the person, which is why CMS is calling this Person and Family Engagement (PFE). Remember that new acronym, since it will become increasingly important as metrics measure our success in implementing these new programs. The “person” is used to reflect an individual’s identity as more than just a patient, and to encourage the person’s empowerment towards his or her own health and wellbeing.

Second, as history has proven, when CMS puts meaningful incentives behind the agenda for increasing quality of care, significant changes can happen. Until now, many of them have not been apparent to patients, but this strategy is different. This strategy serves as a guide to weave intentional engagement principles into all policies addressing health and wellbeing. That’s a lot of coverage from CMS.

Here are the goals of the program:

1. Partnership with communities – actively encourage person and family engagement along the continuum of care.

2. Values, Preferences & Self-Management Care introduce tools that help people actively engage in directing and self-managing their care.

3. Creating a Culture of Partnership people and families work in partnership with healthcare providers to develop health and wellness goals.

4. Experience & Best Practices develop criteria for identifying person and family engagement best practices and techniques from the field, from CMS programs, measurements, models and initiatives.

There are numerous studies that have shown that patients who feel engaged, educated and empowered have better outcomes. At HealthLoop, we are constantly measuring the engagement of our patients through their frequency of interactions with our application. With over 500,000 monthly patient interactions, we know that the high levels of engagement lead to lower costs related to complications and readmissions.

It’s good to see CMS focus on a guide for implanting best practices. Next, watch for future measures that will determine how well providers are doing to meet these goals. These measures can make a real difference in cost and quality outcomes.


HealthLoop scales the impact of care teams through the power of patients.

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