Helping Patients Train for Surgery Earns $6.4M Health Care Innovation Award

Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program designed to lower surgery costs, empower patients

Released: 5-Jun-2014 6:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Michigan Health System
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Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program (MSHOP) has earned a $6.4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for its work to lower surgery costs and help Michigan patients train for surgery.

Each year 45 million inpatient surgeries are performed in the U.S. Following a program to boost their physical ability and mindset, patients in MSHOP go home from the hospital sooner and the cost of their surgical care is less expensive. MSHOP also arms doctors and patients with new technology to predict surgical complications and make better decisions about surgery.

“Awaiting major surgery is a difficult time for patients and their loved ones,” says Michael Englesbe, M.D., an associate professor of surgery at the U-M Health System and principal investigator of MSHOP. “MSHOP is designed to help patients in the State of Michigan use this time to prepare their body and mind for surgery.”

MSHOP is a collaborative program between the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative (MSQC), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and the University of Michigan.

Englesbe, MSQC’s associate director, and Stewart C. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., a U-M professor of surgery who pioneered the use of analytic morphomics in MSHOP’s risk assessment tool, will lead the Innovation Award implementation.

The surgical care model fostered by the U-M is poised to transform surgical care by improving the appropriateness of surgery, reducing surgical complications and empowering patients to improve the quality of their own care.

“Through this project, 12,500 patients will be enrolled; first at the University of Michigan Health System and then at 40 hospitals in Michigan,” says Darrell A. Campbell Jr., M.D., U-M Health System chief medical officer who directs the MSQC. “At this project’s conclusion, a field-tested and optimized model will be available for implementation across the country.”

The program aims to improve surgical outcomes in two ways:

Improving health care delivery – A risk assessment tool, available on a smartphone app, helps physicians and patients determine if surgeries are appropriate, especially for elderly or frail patients. The smartphone app leverages technology already used by most physicians and smoothly integrates data into their fast-paced routines, says June Sullivan, MBA, technology director of MSHOP.
Empowering patients – An established program that patients can follow at home focuses on walking, lung exercises, eating better, reducing stress and developing a care team of family and friends. “Patients welcome the opportunity to make an impact on their care outcome,” says William Palazzolo, physician assistant and clinical director of MSHOP.

Based on the current program, the U-M has seen savings of $2,518 a case, and has reduced time in the hospital after surgery by 30 percent.

“Much as an athlete trains for competition, patients should train for surgery,” says Englesbe. “The program is designed to help surgeons and patients make better decisions about surgery, to identify high-risk patients and train these patients to improve their medical outcomes following surgery.”

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