We just ended our 25th anniversary celebration and are energized for the next quarter of a century. We’re moving forward with you, our members, and trusted partners to advance the priorities we all share. Today I’m outlining some specific goals for 2023 that build on our work to make health care safer and more accessible for everyone.
- In New Jersey, every acute care hospital now reports its quality measures to The Leapfrog Group. We know that transparency through public reporting works and saves lives. But today more than 60 percent of surgeries in the United States take place in hospital outpatient centers or Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). Leapfrog launched its ASC Survey in 2019. We need the same level of commitment on transparency and safety from ASC owners as we have from hospitals. Our goal in 2023 is for at least 35 ASCs in our state to report to Leapfrog and highlight their commitment to quality. Today we have four. We are asking employers, payers, referring clinicians, and consumers to join us in pushing for transparency on safety measures in ASCs.
- The Quality Institute was instrumental in bringing TeamBirth to three New Jersey hospitals in 2022. TeamBirth is a proven communication and teamwork process and training program that changes the culture within the hospital. It puts the patient and their support team at the center of all communication and decision-making about their birth process. TeamBirth was developed by Ariadne Labs, and is being implemented to great success in various regions of the country. Our goal for 2023 is to obtain funding to put in place a statewide expansion plan to every interested hospital with a labor and delivery unit in New Jersey. After the TeamBirth process is implemented in a hospital, these practices become embedded in how the hospital operates and improves the labor and delivery process going forward, making the birthing process more holistic and inclusive. TeamBirth training is a one-time investment that carries on. If your organization is interested in being part of this work or funding its expansion, reach out to Adelisa Perez-Hudgins, MSN, RN-BC, our Director of Quality.
- Conversation of Your Life (COYL) is a statewide program that provides information and resources to communities on advance care planning. We share COYL resources through our Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC). Local leaders and community members use these materials and our technical support to educate and share information about advance care planning. COYL is a valuable, grassroots program that shows people how to ensure they get the end-of-life care they want. No more and no less. Our goal for 2023 is to continue to grow COYL. We’re looking for mayors and community members interested in bringing COYL to their community. If you think COYL is a fit for your community, reach out to Julie DeSimone, LSW, our Director of Community Health.
- The Mayors Wellness Campaign’s (MWC) Mental Health First Aid training programs have been filling up. Mental Health First Aid is a six-and-a-half hour training that teaches community members how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. From our 21-county survey of mayors, we found that mental health continues to be a top priority. A goal for us in 2023 is to expand these valuable trainings to more communities. Reach out to Julie DeSimone for information on our 2023 schedule of trainings.
- Primary care is the foundation of good health care. Yet New Jersey Medicaid rates for primary care providers are 50 cents on the dollar compared to Medicare rates. If we want more primary care providers to care for patients in the Medicaid program, we need payment parity. Access to high quality primary care reduces inappropriate emergency use, can prevent hospitalizations, furthers health equity, and promotes overall health and wellness. We will continue in 2023 to urge further investment in high quality primary care and passage of S.2792/A.4223 to address this disparity.
- Access to contraceptives is an essential health care service that reduces unintended and high-risk pregnancies. Training programs provide pharmacists with the information they need to safely provide self-administered birth control such as pills and patches. Right now, 24 states have enacted laws to permit pharmacists to dispense self-administered hormonal birth control. New Jersey needs to join them. S275 is a bill on Governor Murphy’s desk. We urge him to sign it.
- We’ll continue our work to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in our state. A goal in 2023 will be to continue driving our Maternity Action Plan (MAP), designed to accelerate the Nurture NJ aim to make New Jersey the safest, most equitable place to give birth. The MAP contains four focus areas. In 2023, we plan to engage and support as many organizations as possible to advance this work.
We are already off to a strong start and look forward to hearing from you on these goals as well as those on your priority lists.