HCN News & Notes

BFMC, Health Policy Commission Announce CHART Grant

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) recently announced the hospital’s receipt of a $1.8 million grant from the Mass. Health Policy Commission to strengthen the support system for patients with complex medical, behavioral, and social needs in Franklin County, and reduce potentially avoidable hospital visits and admissions.

The grant is part of the state’s Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization and Transformation (CHART) Investment Program, a two-year initiative aiming to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare services throughout parts of the Commonwealth served by community hospitals.

“The CHART funding we’ve received is helping us take a truly innovative approach to addressing some of our most difficult challenges in improving the health of our community,” said Dr. Thomas Higgins, BFMC’s interim president. “By adapting our resources to help our patients stay out of the hospital and get on track for sustainable long-term health, we and our partners are recognizing the needs of our patients and leading important changes in how we provide care.”

Added David Seltz, executive director of the Health Policy Commission, “CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting the critical health care needs of your community. I’m pleased to report that Baystate Franklin Medical Center exceeded that challenge. We look forward to continuing to partner with Baystate Franklin Medical Center and the communities it serves to build a more coordinated and affordable healthcare system.”

The specific goal of the CHART project at BFMC is to reduce repeated visits to the hospital’s Emergency Department, and readmissions to the hospital, among a population of patients that is identified to be frequent users of those services, especially in relatively small periods of time. The project is funding and establishing a team of care providers who can connect with these patients both inside and outside the hospital to help them manage their health and avoid hospital visits when possible.

The CHART team at BFMC will include a program manager, licensed social worker, medical nurse practitioner, and behavioral-health nurse practitioner employed by BFMC, and community health workers employed by two community partners, LifePath (formerly Franklin County Home Care Corp.) and Clinical & Support Options. Funding for those positions will come from the grant, as well as from the resources of BFMC.