HONOLULU, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawai'i Medical Service Association (HMSA) Chief Health Officer, Dr. Mark Mugiishi, was an invited speaker at The Harvard Leadership Forum, "Achieving Quality and Value in Healthcare Through Integration," held September 27-28 at Harvard Medical School. Keynote speakers included Kyu Rhee, chief health officer for IBM Watson; Steven Beshear, former governor of Kentucky; and Donald Berwick, founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
As HMSA continues to seek innovative ways to improve the health of its community, the organization is increasingly recognized as a national leader in the pursuit of integrated health care delivery. This recognition was evident in the prominent speaking role of Dr. Mugiishi.
Sponsored by the Harvard School of Dental Medicine Initiative, the conference brought together 200 experts across the spectrum of health care policy and delivery to consider drivers and approaches to integrated health care.
The forum opened with discussions on the value of integrated health care, followed by a consideration of delivery systems, including examples of various approaches across the country. A prominent theme was the importance of oral health to an integrated health care solution. Often separated from mainstream health care delivery, oral health is an integral part of total health, a point that Dr. Mugiishi reinforced as he spoke on the topic, "How Are Delivery Systems Changing to Meet Quality and Value Expectations?"
Dr. Mugiishi walked attendees through HMSA's Oral Health for Total HealthSM program, which provides enhanced dental benefits to members with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. These benefits have been shown to improve the health of those with the targeted medical conditions, leading to a higher quality of life and lower medical costs for the individuals.
Dr. Mugiishi described the next phase of medical-dental integration, HMSA Connected CareSM. Currently being enhanced to its next generation launch in 2019, HMSA Connected Care is a community of care in which physicians, dentists, and HMSA care coordinators work together to identify and close patient care gaps. This collaborative environment is enabled by a central platform that provides all caregivers with a common, real-time view of a patient's electronic health record. HMSA has worked closely with its ancillary insurance partner, Life & Specialty Ventures, to bring the vast HMSA dental network into HMSA Connected Care as specialist health care providers, broadening the scope and potential impact of health care integration.
"The power of HMSA's approach is its flexibility," said Dr. Mugiishi. "In contrast to fully integrated health care facilities, HMSA Connected Care is based on a technology solution that allows providers to collaborate virtually. As the health insurer that partners with the majority of physicians and dentists in Hawaii, HMSA is uniquely positioned to deliver this kind of integration model."
While HMSA's leadership in developing a flexible care integration approach was a prominent feature at the Harvard Forum, it was also an opportunity for HMSA to learn from other leaders in health care innovation.
"We'll continue to share the pioneering work we're doing to improve the health of our members," said Dr. Mugiishi, "and we'll also continue to learn from the work and ideas of others as we find more and better ways to advance health care delivery."
About HMSA Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote well-being; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance. HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii's population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community. Headquartered on Oahu with centers and offices statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. To learn more, visit hmsa.org.
About Life & Specialty Ventures Life & Specialty Ventures, LLC (LSV), is a joint venture of independent Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® companies that partners in the delivery of Blue Cross Blue Shield dental plans in their markets. LSV's affiliate insurance company, USAble Life, also provides life, disability, and supplemental coverage in select markets nationwide. LSV has offices in Honolulu, Hawaii, Little Rock, Ark., and Jacksonville, Fla.
LSV Dental Management, LLC, is an independent company providing network management, claims, and benefit management services for HMSA's dental products. LSV Connected Care®, or its derivative Connected CareSM, is used with permission.
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