July 25, 2018  Vol. 4, No. 13

SOMOS Helps 700+ Kids "Get Focused" on Wellness

On Friday, July 20, over 700 kids took to the field at George Washington Educational Campus to learn about healthy living through reading, exercising, and eating well at an innovative “book fair” sponsored by SOMOS Community Care. The book fair empowered elementary and middle school students from seven summer camp programs across Manhattan and the Bronx by having them “purchase” their favorite books by completing fitness challenges guided by certified trainers from youth resources organization and community-based organization Get Focused.

“This book fair is a one-stop shop for the next generation to build healthy and productive lifestyle habits. We want to make sure young people across New York City have access to the resources and support they need to stay active and sharpen their minds all summer,” said SOMOS Chairman and Founder Dr. Ramon Tallaj.

The health event was covered by Fox 5La Calle TV, Harlem World Magazine and Manhattan Times.  Click here to view the full press release.

Aleteia.org Profiles SOMOS Champion Dr. Yomaris Peña

Holistic, comprehensive care involves serving the whole person – the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of each person. Such a service is inherently a spiritual activity. Continuing Aleteia.org's partnership with SOMOS, highlighting SOMOS network "champions," they profiled primary care physician Dr. Yomaris Peña a doctor with a heart of gold.

Click below to view the video. Click here to read the article. The article is also available in Spanish

Aleteia (aleteia.org) is an online publication distributed in eight languages (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Polish and Slovenian). The Aleteia site offers a Christian vision of the world by providing general and religious content that is free from ideological influences.

Click below to view the video in English. Click here to view the video in Spanish.

Mental Health Service Corps Sponsoring FREE Behavioral Health Social Workers

somos mhsc Mental Health Service Corps (MHSC) – an initiative of the N.Y. City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) and CUNY Hunter – will place a social worker in your practice at no cost to you.  This initiative, which is part of the City’s THRIVE NYC program, supports the goal of integrating behavioral health services into primary care practice. 

For more information about how a behavioral health social worker would benefit your practice and what your commitment would be, click here.

For questions, contact SOMOS' Behavioral Health Team at bh@somoscommunitycare.org.

Reflections from the Desk of the CEO
Focus on Social Determinants of Health May Hold Key to Healthcare Reform

By Mario J. Paredes

STRIKINGLY, the topic has somewhat receded from the headlines, but the battle for health- care reform continues as legislators on both sides of the aisle continue the painstaking and still hotly-contested process of deciding the ultimate fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Uncertainty persists, as the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens are awaiting an answer from their country’s leaders who are charged with plotting out a course for publicly- funded healthcare that of superior quality and also affordable for taxpayers.

The two, of course, go hand-in-hand: quality care—with an emphasis on preventive intervention—makes for better longer-term health outcomes, which in turn makes for savings as it keeps people out of emergency rooms and hospital beds. New York State has taken a leading role in Medicaid reform precisely in pursuit of this ‘magic’ formula: better healthcare and at lower costs.

Simply put, to incentivize and inspire doctors—Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), in particular—to do a better job taking care of their patients, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has engineered a major shift toward a Value-Based Care, or Value-Based- Payment model governing Medicaid-provided healthcare. This formula takes the place of the traditional fee-for-service model—a model prone to waste and fraud—and rewards the doctors according to the longer-term health outcomes of their patients.

The healthier the patient over the longer term, the higher the patient for the provider. Naturally, the doctors take a risk; the old system—with fixed fees for office visits, exams, tests—was reliable; value-based care requires a learning curve; a willingness to get to know the patients better; better put, it requires a genuine relationship between doctor and patient—and that takes work and willingness.

Read the full reflection here... (Available in Spanish)

SOMOS Talks VBP and SDH at the NYS Health Foundation's Annual Medicaid Conference

SOMOS Chief Business Development Officer Ricardo A. Rivera-Cardona represented SOMOS Community Care on a panel at the NYS Health Foundation's annual Medicaid conference, Medicaid in New York: Fostering Collaboration to Improve Health, on July 18 in Manhattan. 

Ricardo joined other panelists – Theresa Soriano, MD, Senior Vice President for Care Transitions and Population Health at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s; Chief Executive Officer of AIRnyc, Shoshanah Brown; and Chad E. Shearer, panel moderator and Vice President for Policy, and Director of the Medicaid Institute from the United Hospital Fund – for a conversation about Leveraging Value-Based Payment to Address Social Determinants.

SOMOS CIO Tonguc Yaman at HealthIMPACT East 2018

SOMOS Chief Information Officer Tonguç Yaman presented at the annual HealthIMPACT East Summit – the Nation’s leading C-Suite Health IT Forum – that took place from July 18 to July 20 in Washington D.C.

The presentation, titled the Patient- and Provider-Centric Approach to Data Integration and Real-time Analytics for Continuity of Care Management, focused on SOMOS' data and analytics story from inception until now.

Tonguc highlighted SOMOS' unique position in DSRIP, establishing relationships with technology companies, and building a sustainable infrastructure for a network of 2,500 physicians from the ground up. 

NYSDOH Launches VBP-U Sophomore Year

The New York State Department of Health's Value Based Payment University (VBP-U) is an online, educational resource created to raise awareness, knowledge, and expertise in the move to Value Based Payment (VBP). VBP-U combines informational videos and supplemental materials that stakeholders interested in VBP can use to advance their understanding of this healthcare transformation effort.
VBP-U: Sophomore Year, Semester One is designed to serve as a deeper dive into VBP fundamentals. This semester’s curriculum includes summary documents from past "bootcamps," information on the Medicare Access & Children´s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (MACRA), guidance documents for Chief Medical Officers (CMOs), and guidance documents for addressing social determinants of health through VBP.
Semesters 1-3 of VBP-U Sophomore Year will conclude with a quiz on the topics covered where those who pass all three quizzes with a grade of 80% or higher, will receive a certificate of completion. Results are automatically sent to the Department of Health and certificates will be e-mailed to those who complete all three quizzes on a quarterly basis.

VBP-U Freshman Year and Sophomore content are available here.

If you have any questions, please contact VBP@health.ny.gov.  

SOMOS Community Care Blog

Mental Health in Minority Communities
by Diego Ponieman, MD MPH

Mental health issues affect people regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, age, gender, or sexual orientation with nearly one in five American adults experiencing a mental illness at some point in their life, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It’s key to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated with an equally high priority. There is no shame in being proactive and seeking help. Read more...

Blueberries – Tiny but Mighty!
by Denisse Oller

blueberry recipes healthy Blueberries – the tiny fruit with tons of nutritional benefits, especially for the heart! Packed with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient, and being free of cholesterol makes blueberries the perfect health healthy food. Not only are they delicious, but they are versatile, and can be eaten countless different ways! I’ve chosen four easy summer recipes that can help you incorporate this delectable, heart-healthy fruit into your diet. Read more...

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