Virginia Health Innovation Network to bring together business and medical communities, patients and government

RICHMOND, VA  –December 11, 2012 – Less than a year into its existence, the Virginia Center for Health Innovation is already making dramatic progress.  Its first success?  The impending launch of the Virginia Health Innovation Network, a breakthrough technology platform that will break down barriers and improve education and communication among all the “players” in health care – from insurers to hospitals, physicians to patients, employers to government.

The Virginia Health Innovation Network, which will be fully functional in June 2013, will offer an appropriately innovative approach.  “There are existing sites that focus primarily on one core function whether it be:  knowledge management (connecting people with the information they’re seeking or resources to turn to), ideation (serving as a platform to share new ideas, get feedback and form partnerships), or collaboration and virtual networking,” said Beth A. Bortz, President and CEO of the Virginia Center for Health Innovation, headquartered in Richmond.  “It was essential for our network to do all of the above.”

 “The partners who are supporting the Center come from such diverse knowledge backgrounds and have traditionally focused solely on their areas of expertise.   We needed to create a vehicle through which they could gain insight into where the other partners are coming from – an employer, for example, getting to fully appreciate the perspective of a physician or hospital executive, as it relates to cost containment or wellness or education,” Bortz said.

 “This Network also must serve as an incubator and, in some ways, a matchmaker, to spread existing innovations, develop new ideas, discuss successes or challenges in dealing with specific issues,” Bortz added, “from addressing the obesity epidemic and the cascade of chronic disease, to establishing patient-centered care, to improving health benefit design to encourage value-based purchasing over volume.  We are breaking down the walls between these entities and focusing on the end result and how we can get there together.”

 The Network content will include educational resources and tools, as well as examples of innovative models of wellness and health care aligned with the Virginia Center for Health Innovation’s strategic portfolio, which includes:

  • Employee Health and Productivity Measurement
  • Value-based Purchasing
  • Value-based Insurance Design
  • Focused Delivery and Payment Reform
  • Patient-centered Care Models
  • Price and Quality Transparency
  • Overutilization Reduction
  • Strategic Wellness Design
  • Patient Safety Improvement

The Virginia Health Innovation Network is being constructed and enabled by VenCorps, a technology platform with extensive experience in open collaboration projects ranging from the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top to the International Water Droplet Project. “By joining this unique online innovation community, members will be able to learn, share, and connect with more people from the multiple sectors that are interested in and contribute to health innovation,” said VenCorps’ Michael J. Turillo.  “The real value will be realized as members effectively translate the knowledge, tools, and relationships gained from the Virginia Health Innovation Network into tangible and sustainable health solutions.”

Supporting partners in the funding and structuring of the Virginia Health Innovation Network include Aetna, CarilionClinic, HCA, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Merck, Pfizer, PhRMA, Kaiser Permanente, LabCorp, Riverside Health System, and the United Health Foundation.

 “The Virginia Health Innovation Network will create a partnership across the Commonwealth of individuals and organizations actively engaging in identifying, generating, evaluating, spreading, and sustaining value-driven innovations in health and health care,” said Dr. William A. Hazel Jr., Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources. “Together, with the support of other industry leaders, we can play an integral role in modernizing Virginia’s health care system and improving the quality of life and well-being for all Virginians.”