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NICHE was created to educate and report on healthcare, and we’re as interested in pointing out what’s being done right as we are in shedding light on difficult topics. Today, it’s our pleasure to commend both Lutheran and Parkview for their significant investments in what is called Clinically Integrated Care (CIC), also known as a Clinically Integrated Network (CIN).

What’s CIC, you ask? CIC has to do both with management and reimbursement. The healthcare industry is moving away from paying for “encounters” of care and instead rewarding coordination, into a single record, of a patient’s total health care experience. The four elements considered are: collaborative leadership to provide overall governance; aligned incentives for all caregivers to engage in patient care; clinical programs that use common metrics and protocols; and a technology infrastructure that includes patient access to records, health information exchanges, and a single longitudinal patient medical record–one that’s always available and up to date. The underlying theory is that of population health (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447747/ for more).

Both Parkview and Lutheran are working to bring these advances to completion–and at no small expense to their hospital or their staff: both have significant physician and nursing investment in these programs. We would be remiss not to notice such promising programs and fail to congratulate those who invest to make them possible. And so, congratulations the Lutheran Health Quality Alliance (Wayne Smith, Mike Poore, Mike Young and Lisa Dolan), and the same to Parkview Care Partners (Mike Packnett, Greg Johnson, Mark Pierce, Ray Dusman and Susan McAllister.) We appreciate what you are doing for patients.

With LHN’s CIN, Mr. Smith is holding true to his words on the recent CHS earnings call. “Fort Wayne is another example of a strong market…We continue to focus on quality improvements, patient experience, and physician relationships.”