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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Working to fix RI’s Medicaid program

11 projects funded to serve Medicaid recipients
Image result for MedicaidRhode Island’s Executive Office of Health & Human Services has partnered with the University of Rhode Island to develop innovative education and training programs that will prepare the health care workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to help achieve the goals of the R.I. Medicaid Health System Transformation Project.

The funding comes from about $130 million in matching funds awarded to the state in 2016 by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Most of the award was earmarked for redesigning the health care delivery system that serves the more 300,000 Medicaid beneficiaries. 

About five percent was set aside for workforce development to train future health care workers.


“Reforming the state’s health care system requires partnership, initiative and commitment from all health care stakeholders including private sector payers, providers, publicly-funded health care systems and advocates to ensure we keep our focus on improved outcomes, better care and lower cost,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Eric J. Beane. 

“This strategic investment in education will support future job growth in Rhode Island.”

“For 2018, more than $1.5 million will flow back to URI, funding 11 new projects being used to promote improved access and quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries in Rhode Island,” according to Bryan Blissmer, director of URI’s Institute for Integrated Health and Innovation, which is spearheading the University’s involvement.

“The University is transforming the health care workforce in the region, enhancing the care provided residents and, as a result, delivering federal dollars back to the state,” Blissmer added.

The Institute is part of URI’s Academic Health Collaborative, which comprises the Colleges of Health Sciences, Nursing and Pharmacy. The Institute provides research, evaluation and programmatic expertise to the University and to external partners and manages delivery of related services. 

These include care management for Medicaid recipients, clinical and professional consultative services, quality improvement plans, program evaluation, analytic and subject matter expertise and support of grant funding to deliver health care transformation.

The 11 projects were funded in four categories: continuing education, interprofessional experiential opportunities, new educational models and new career opportunities.

The projects are:

  • Enhancement of a Home-based Primary Care Program — College of Nursing, Denise Coppa, $152,909.
  • Interpersonal Team Education and Evaluation — College of Health Sciences, Phil Clark, $268,625.
  • Teaching Health Care Management Core Concepts: Core Concepts of Health Transformation — College of Business Administration, Kathryn Jervis, $47,206.
  • Health System Transformation Concepts: Self-paced Learning for Health Care Professionals — College of Nursing, Betty Rambur, $119,513.
  • Five-Year Master’s Degree in Mental and Behavioral Health Counseling — College of Health Sciences, Mark Robbins, $61,538.
  • The R.I. Generating Health Care Transformation Project — College of Health Sciences, Kathleen Melanson, $150,470.
  • Establishing a URI Interprofessional Collaboration Center of Excellence — College of Pharmacy, Mary-Jane Kanaczet, $156,146.
  • Nurses for Obesity Prevention: A Need for Education — College of Health Sciences, Alison Tovar, $66,683.
  • Developing and Training Health Professionals in Rhode Island Communities — College of Health Sciences, Brian Quilliam, $85,193.
  • URI Academic Collaborations Officers embedded at Rhode Island Department of Health — College of Pharmacy, Jeffrey Bratberg, $60,481.
  • Interprofessional Workforce Development — College of Health Sciences, Lyn Stein, $138,015.