Welvie announced today that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services selected the company as one of the organizations that have been awarded a Health Care Innovation Challenge grant. The $6.76 million federal grant will fully fund Welvie's initiative to demonstrate how its surgery decision-support program can help guide Medicare enrollees to better treatment decisions and surgical outcomes.
Welvie, a pioneering surgery decision-support company, will offer its program to 160,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Ohio (80,000 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries and 80,000 health plan Medicare Advantage members). The award will support the CMS Innovation Center's three-part aim – improved health, improved health care and lower costs through improved quality – by empowering Medicare members to better understand how to decide on, prepare for and recover from surgery.
"Many people don't realize they can and should take an active part in the surgery decision-making process," said Welvie Executive Chairman Chip Tooke. "The better prepared a patient is, the better the chances of a positive outcome. The Welvie program was designed to do just that, prepare patients by showing them what they can do in an effort to improve surgery outcomes."
Welvie's program guides consumers through six steps to help them work with their doctor to first determine an accurate diagnosis and then understand their treatment options, including surgery. If surgery is determined to be the preferred course of treatment, Welvie helps them prepare for the procedure and recovery for a better chance of a positive outcome. For example, the program directs participants to ask their surgeon about receiving an antibiotic within the first 60 minutes of having surgery, a World Health Organization best practice known to reduce the chance of hospital acquired infections.
Tooke explained that the program has two goals: first, to optimize necessary surgeries by minimizing complications, infections and errors; and second, to limit those surgeries that are ineffective or where the risks to the patient outweigh the benefits.
"We look forward to working with CMS to help Medicare enrollees make informed choices about elective procedures," added Tooke. "And when surgery is the right option, we want to help them reduce their risks and achieve the best outcomes possible."
Welvie is a pioneering surgery decision-support company. Its shared decision-making program helps consumers make fully informed decisions about surgery, while helping health plans, employers and government agencies ensure patients receive the best outcome, whether they choose surgery or not.