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The Department of Medicine’s ‘Value-Care Action Group’ is pleased to announce the following awardees and projects for FY-2022.

Morgan S. Jones, MD
Morgan Jones, MD

Endocrinology

Morgan Jones, MD, will lead a project focused on identifying inpatients at high-risk for hypoglycemic events in order to intervene prior to a problem. This project will extend the work that endocrinology has led through VCAG for the past several years.

Gastroenterology

Shifali Arora, MD, will lead a project to improve efficiency for inpatient endoscopy/colonoscopy, to decrease delays in discharges by targeting common reasons for bumped cases and improve the surrounding processes. This is part of a broader initiative to overhaul the inpatient consult service.

shifaliarora
Shifali Arora, MD

General Internal Medicine

Laura Loehr, MD, PhD, MS, and Jamie Cavanaugh, PharmD, CPP, will lead a project aimed at decreasing hospital re-admission and emergency department visits within 30 and 60 days following hospitalization for acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) for HFrEF.

They will accomplish this by doing the following:

-Increasing utilization of guideline recommended therapies for HFrEF, and to maximum tolerated dosage or target dosages.

loehr-cavanaugh
Laura Loehr, MD; Jamie Cavanaugh, PharmD

-Increasing referral to cardiac rehab for HFrEF following hospitalization for ADHF.

-Collaborating with cardiology to create our protocol, and with benign heme to address iron deficiency in the HFrEF.

-Participating in Heart Failure Redesign, a UNC group creating a standardized approach to the outpatient care for heart failure.

Hematology and Oncology

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Hanna Sanoff, MD, MPH; William Wood, MD

Hanna Sanoff, MD, MPH, and William Wood, MD, will develop, implement and test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a comprehensive, centralized navigation and care coordination program for patients with cancer, who are candidates, or are currently receiving treatment for cancer at UNC. The project will specifically focus on two key groups:

-Patients with high clinical and social risk within specified disease groups, and
-Recently diagnosed patients transitioning from inpatient to outpatient care, where there are significant opportunities to reduce acute care utilization (ED visits/hospitalizations) and decrease total medical visits.

Nephrology

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Pankaj Jawa, MD

Pankaj Jawa, MD, will create a pathway to identify high-risk populations for CKD with primary care physicians and order the appropriate tests to diagnose and manage CKD in primary care. The intended effect is to move care that can be managed in a primary care practice out of specialist offices, to improve efficiency and open up access.

Pulmonology

Brad Drummond, MD, MHS, will lead a project to reduce 30- and 90-day readmissions among patients with UNCMC inpatient admission for diagnosis of COPD exacerbation through the deployment of a COPD navigator. The navigator is a respiratory therapist who can provide inhaler training and patient education at the bedside.

brad-drummond
Brad Drummond, MD

About Value-Care Action Group

VCAG encourages the review of current practices, looking for improvements for high-value outcomes in healthcare. High-value is defined by the quality of patient-centered care achieved per unit of cost. The “value” in value-based healthcare is derived from measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes. Ron Falk, MD, chair of the department of medicine, created the Value-Care Action Group (VCAG) in 2016 and appointed value-care champions in each medicine division. Recent VCAG projects include the outpatient diuresis clinic, the specialized inpatient diabetes management service and a patient education initiative that has improved care for cancer patients while reducing unnecessary visits to the ED. Scott Keller is the director of business development keeping the team focused on value-oriented care models. Darren DeWalt, MD, serves as medical director for the team and helps define the projects. John Vargas is the project manager.