Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration
Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration

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Raimondo, Joined by Whitehouse, Launches Statewide Effort to Strengthen Healthcare System for All Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, RI - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, today launched a statewide initiative to innovate healthcare by improving patient care and health outcomes, and lowering cost for all Rhode Islanders.

As part of the new effort, the Governor signed an Executive Order creating the Working Group for Healthcare Innovation and appointed a varied group of healthcare professionals, patient advocates, businesspeople and other policy leaders to examine and recommend improvements across Rhode Island's entire healthcare system.

"We've shown that we can come together and take bold action that will keep people healthier, at a more affordable and predictable cost," said Raimondo. "We have laid a great foundation for reform through Reinventing Medicaid, yet too many Rhode Islanders still cannot access the coordinated services they need to be healthy, and rising costs are still a major concern for businesses, families, and the State. As we continue to reform our Medicaid system, we can and must help more people make it in Rhode Island by expanding our focus beyond publicly-funded healthcare. I look forward to coordinating this work with Senator Whitehouse and Secretary Roberts."

"Reforming our healthcare delivery system can unlock both lower costs and better care for Rhode Island patients," said Whitehouse. "I was proud to work with Neil Steinberg and healthcare leaders last year to help develop a blueprint to accomplish those goals, and I thank Governor Raimondo for taking that process to the next step. The Governor has an opportunity to keep our state at the forefront of healthcare innovation, and I look forward to supporting her and our healthcare leaders in this effort."

The state's focus on healthcare innovation will draw on recommendations offered by a group of healthcare stakeholders Senator Whitehouse and Rhode Island Foundation President Neil Steinberg convened and will build on the Medicaid action plan the Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid recently completed.

The Working Group will focus on four specific sets of deliverables, due to the Governor in December, that support the triple aim:

1. Develop benchmarks and a plan to establish a global health spending cap for Rhode Island;

2. Identify an implementation plan to achieve the "80 by '18" goals which tie 80 percent of healthcare payments to quality by 2018;

3. Develop a vision for next-generation health information technology systems for all payers to improve care and reduce waste in the system; and

4. Establish performance management frameworks to achieve population health and wellness goals outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy People 2020 report.

In its work, the group will support and coordinate healthcare reform work already underway in the state.

"Rhode Island has some of the finest healthcare services in the country, and great work is being done across our state to rethink the way we deliver and pay for care," said Roberts. "We have an opportunity now to coordinate our efforts and build on the momentum of our Reinventing Medicaid initiative to drive effective, sustainable, affordable reform across our healthcare system. I am grateful to Governor Raimondo and Senator Whitehouse for their leadership in developing a more innovative healthcare system, and the members of the Working Group for offering their time and expertise to this important effort."

Earlier this year, the Governor appointed a Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid, whose recommendations formed the basis for the Reinventing Medicaid Act of 2015, which achieved more than $70 million in state Medicaid savings and establishes incentive programs designed to reward hospitals and nursing homes for providing better coordinated care and achieving better patient outcomes. The Working Group recently completed a long-term plan to achieve better quality, coordination, and value for Rhode Island's Medicaid system. Shifting Medicaid toward a model that pays for outcomes and quality rather than volume is a catalyst for wider reforms to the State's healthcare system.

The Working Group for Healthcare Innovation will hold its first working meeting in August and present recommendations to Governor Raimondo in December. A current list of members follows.


Elizabeth Roberts- Executive Office of Health and Human Services


TBD- RI House

Josh Miller- RI Senate

Juan Pichardo- RI Senate

Scott Avedisian- City of Warwick


Peter Andruszkiewicz- Blue Cross Blue Shield RI

Steven Farrell- United Healthcare of New England

Peter Marino- Neighborhood Health Plan

Jim Roosevelt- Tufts Health Plan


Dennis Keefe- Care New England

Tim Babineau- Lifespan

Lou Giancola- South County Hospital

Lester Schindel- CharterCare Health Partners


Al Kurose- Coastal Medical Group

Dale Klatzker- The Providence Center

Steven Horowitz- St. Elizabeth Community

Diana Franchitto- Home and Hospice Care of RI

Louis Rice- University Medicine

Pablo Rodriguez- Women's Care

Paul Calitri- RI Dental Association

Donna Policastro- Rhode Island State Nurses Association

Jane Hayward- Rhode Island Health Center Association

Alvaro Olivares (invited)- Hispanic Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at Butler Hospital

Elizabeth Lange (invited)- Pediatrician, Coastal Medical

Al Puerini (invited)- Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation


Linda McDonald (invited)- United Nurses and Allied Professionals


Al Charbonneau- RI Business Group on Health

John Simmons- RI Public Expenditure Council

Ted Almon- Claflin Company


Jack Elias- Brown Medical School

Neil Steinberg- Rhode Island Foundation

Ira Wilson- Brown School of Public Health

John Keimig- Healthcentric Advisors

Sam Salganik- RI Parent Information Network

Reginald Tucker- Seeley RI Commission on Health Advocacy and Equity

Laura Adams (invited)- Rhode Island Quality Institute