Wake Forest Baptist Researcher Named to New CMS Advisory Group That Will Test New Models in Patient Care

January 12, 2012

Pamela Duncan, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to serve on its Innovation Advisors Program.

Duncan is one of 73 health care and allied health professionals chosen from 920 applications through a competitive process, to lead pioneering work that will test new models of care for those who are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

CMS Innovation Center Director Dr. Rick Gilfillan said the ultimate goal of the Innovation Advisors Program is to partner with its advisers. “We want them to discover and generate new ideas that will work and help us to bring them to every corner of the United States.”

Duncan’s project focuses on lowering the incidence of patient readmission to the hospital. Patient readmission is common among those with chronic medical conditions.  The complexity of these chronic medical conditions means patient care does not stop at hospital discharge. It continues through recuperation and recovery within the community and often requires several levels of care. These multiple levels of care require collaboration among many health care providers –from acute care to nursing care to home care– to meet the needs of these chronically-ill patients. How successful the community manages this seamless continuum of care will dictate the success of the project.

Toward that goal, Wake Forest Baptist is building partnerships with Novant Health and numerous other community health care organizations, including nursing homes and community service organizations, to develop a new model of care that appropriately manages patients and reduces the number of hospital readmissions.

President and Chief Operating Officer of Wake Forest Baptist Health, Dr. Thomas E. Sibert, said Duncan’s selection to the CMS advisory group reflects the medical center’s global commitment to providing top quality patient care.“In her short time here, Ms. Duncan has shown why she is a leader in post-acute care services, galvanizing disparate community and clinical resources, bringing clarity to complex processes and inspiring change,” said Sibert. “She is the center of numerous activities that illustrate our ongoing commitment in bringing applied research to the improvement of operations in the health system and the application of community resources to improving the health of the community.”

Funded through the federal Affordable Care Act, the Innovation Advisors Program was launched by CMS in October 2011 to improve health and patient care and reduce costs.

Each adviser’s home institution will receive a stipend of up to $20,000 to support their activities while serving as an adviser. An adviser is expected to commit up to10 hours each week to the work for one year and will meet regularly with partners, CMS Innovation Center staff and other advisers to share and discuss information.

Duncan is leading community efforts to develop a Northwest Coalition for integrated care and will use this opportunity to be on the CMS advisory group to learn from and collaborate with national and community partners to implement locally transformative models of integrated care for better health and care of elders in our community.

As many as 200 advisers will be selected for the program this year; the remaining advisors are expected to be chosen by June 2012.

Media Relations

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279

Chad Campbell: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587