Our Organization


Our Mission

Transforming health and health care by leading, collaborating, and aligning improvements efforts.

 

 

Our History

QC History 2003 -2015 – Early Days:  Improving Chronic Illness Care

  • Maine Quality Counts (QC) began in the fall of 2003 when it was recognized that many providers and organizations in the state were starting to take steps to improve care for a wide range of chronic illnesses.  They realized that there would be real benefit to shared learning in this regard.  This was a short time after the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report, and around the time that Dr. Ed Wagner and his colleagues at the MacColl Institute (Group Health) had developed the “Chronic Care Model” as a synthesis of best practices for improving chronic illness care.  Driven by the recognition and belief that a systems-based approach to improving chronic care, Dr. Karen Bell (at that time, Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine) and Dr. Lisa Letourneau (at that time, working for MaineHealth) brought a diverse group of stakeholders together around a statewide conference that would communicate the business case for changing systems of care, while expanding on other successful efforts to improve chronic care.

The Conferences

  • QC’s first conference was held in December 2003, with close to 200 attendees representing providers, employers, payers, and policymakers.  The event highlighted the widely accepted Chronic Care Model, and provided specific examples of Maine providers who were using population-based approaches to improving care.  In addition, important linkages were made between Quality Counts and other key health policy initiatives around the state, including Dirigo Health.
  • In April 2004, QC hosted a second conference, with over 300 people attending.  This meeting featured Dr. Ed Wagner, primary architect of the Chronic Care Model, and successfully engaged a broad range of stakeholders that were focused on further understanding the implementation of the Chronic Care Model.  At that meeting, Dr. David Stephens (then at Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ]) challenged attendees by asking whether they would simply disperse after the conference, or whether they would commit to working together on a shared agenda to improve chronic care.  Maine Quality Counts has continued to convene thought leaders and stakeholders from around the state and around the country.  QC 2018 will be the fifteenth meeting.

Becoming an Organization

  • Following the success of the initial conferences, an Advisory Group was convened to hold a strategic planning meeting in July 2004.  The group reaffirmed a commitment to work together around promoting the comprehensive adoption and assessment of the Chronic Care Model across Maine.  The group further agreed that the primary organizational functions of Quality Counts should include:
    • providing leadership while serving as a change agent for promoting improved chronic illness care,
    • influencing state health policy,
    • advocating for change,
    • coordinating and inventorying existing improvement efforts,
    • improving communications between and among health care resources and,
    • facilitating technical assistance such as training and education
  • Members of the Advisory Group were invited to become Corporators of Quality Counts (now Member organizations), which subsequently filed for incorporationg as a distinct, corporate entity in June 2006.

Next Steps

  • The next step forward came in February 2007, when Quality Counts, in conjunction with the Maine Health Management Coalition and the Maine Quality Forum, was selected as the lead agency in Maine for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Aligning Forces for Quality initiative – an effort that sought to lift the quality of health care by aligning efforts around performance measurement, public reporting, quality improvement to providers, and consumer engagement on the use of quality data.  QC sought and was awarded IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt status as a public charity after receiving the grant.
  • Following this auspicious start, many other stakeholders in the state joined QC and contributed to its success as a multi-stakeholder regional improvement collaborative, and neutral convener  seeking to align improvement opportunities.  With the support of other grants and contracts, QC took a leadership role in 2008-2009 to serve as one of the key conveners of the multi-payer Maine Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot, launching what became a six-year effort to transform primary care models and payment.
  • Finally, in 2009, QC engaged in a strategic planning process that updated our mission and vision statements, in addition to our strategic priorities – a foundation that is reviewed by the QC Board and Staff every three years.

Expanding Reach and Scope

  • Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Maine Quality Counts has leveraged multiple opportunities to participate in national and local health care reform efforts, while also taking the lead on a range of initiatives related to delivery system and payment reform.  Some of those initiatives include:
    • 2010
      • Maine PCMH Pilot
      • FirstSTEPS Collaborative
      • QC for Kids efforts to improve child health
    • 2012
      • CMS Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration
      • Launch of Community Care Teams
    • 2013
      • MaineCare Health Homes – an expansion of PCMH Pilot
      • QC 2014 features Dr. Donald Berwick and reaches 800+ attendees
      • Launch of Choosing Wisely in Maine
      • Maine State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative – QC contracted to support Health Homes, Behavioral Health Homes Learning Collaborative, Patient-Provider Partnership (P3) Pilots
    • 2014
      • MaineCare Behavioral Health Homes launched
      • QC 2014 features Dr. Doug Eby
      • Launch of Maine Chronic Pain Collaborative to address crisis in opioid prescribing
      • Launch of Chronic Disease Improvement Collaborative to improve diabetes, HTN care
    • 2015
      • QC implements staff/structural reorganization to build project management capacity
      • QC 2015 features Dr. Atul Gawande and hits maximum capacity of 1200 attendees
      • Launch of Spreading Choosing Wisely in Maine
      • QC selected by CMS to lead the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network (NNE-PTN)
Our History - 2003 - The Early Years

QC History 2003 -2015 – Early Days:  Improving Chronic Illness Care

  • Maine Quality Counts (QC) began in the fall of 2003 when it was recognized that many providers and organizations in the state were starting to take steps to improve care for a wide range of chronic illnesses.  They realized that there would be real benefit to shared learning in this regard.  This was a short time after the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s “Crossing the Quality Chasm” report, and around the time that Dr. Ed Wagner and his colleagues at the MacColl Institute (Group Health) had developed the “Chronic Care Model” as a synthesis of best practices for improving chronic illness care.  Driven by the recognition and belief that a systems-based approach to improving chronic care, Dr. Karen Bell (at that time, Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine) and Dr. Lisa Letourneau (at that time, working for MaineHealth) brought a diverse group of stakeholders together around a statewide conference that would communicate the business case for changing systems of care, while expanding on other successful efforts to improve chronic care.
The QC Annual Conferences

The Conferences

  • QC’s first conference was held in December 2003, with close to 200 attendees representing providers, employers, payers, and policymakers.  The event highlighted the widely accepted Chronic Care Model, and provided specific examples of Maine providers who were using population-based approaches to improving care.  In addition, important linkages were made between Quality Counts and other key health policy initiatives around the state, including Dirigo Health.
  • In April 2004, QC hosted a second conference, with over 300 people attending.  This meeting featured Dr. Ed Wagner, primary architect of the Chronic Care Model, and successfully engaged a broad range of stakeholders that were focused on further understanding the implementation of the Chronic Care Model.  At that meeting, Dr. David Stephens (then at Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ]) challenged attendees by asking whether they would simply disperse after the conference, or whether they would commit to working together on a shared agenda to improve chronic care.  Maine Quality Counts has continued to convene thought leaders and stakeholders from around the state and around the country.  QC 2018 will be the fifteenth meeting.
Becoming an Organization

Becoming an Organization

  • Following the success of the initial conferences, an Advisory Group was convened to hold a strategic planning meeting in July 2004.  The group reaffirmed a commitment to work together around promoting the comprehensive adoption and assessment of the Chronic Care Model across Maine.  The group further agreed that the primary organizational functions of Quality Counts should include:
    • providing leadership while serving as a change agent for promoting improved chronic illness care,
    • influencing state health policy,
    • advocating for change,
    • coordinating and inventorying existing improvement efforts,
    • improving communications between and among health care resources and,
    • facilitating technical assistance such as training and education
  • Members of the Advisory Group were invited to become Corporators of Quality Counts (now Member organizations), which subsequently filed for incorporationg as a distinct, corporate entity in June 2006.
QC's Next Steps

QC’s Next Steps

  • The next step forward came in February 2007, when Quality Counts, in conjunction with the Maine Health Management Coalition and the Maine Quality Forum, was selected as the lead agency in Maine for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Aligning Forces for Quality initiative – an effort that sought to lift the quality of health care by aligning efforts around performance measurement, public reporting, quality improvement to providers, and consumer engagement on the use of quality data.  QC sought and was awarded IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt status as a public charity after receiving the grant.
  • Following this auspicious start, many other stakeholders in the state joined QC and contributed to its success as a multi-stakeholder regional improvement collaborative, and neutral convener  seeking to align improvement opportunities.  With the support of other grants and contracts, QC took a leadership role in 2008-2009 to serve as one of the key conveners of the multi-payer Maine Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot, launching what became a six-year effort to transform primary care models and payment.
  • Finally, in 2009, QC engaged in a strategic planning process that updated our mission and vision statements, in addition to our strategic priorities – a foundation that is reviewed by the QC Board and Staff every three years.
Expanding Reach and Scope

 Expanding Reach and Scope

  • Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Maine Quality Counts has leveraged multiple opportunities to participate in national and local health care reform efforts, while also taking the lead on a range of initiatives related to delivery system and payment reform.  Some of those initiatives include:
    • 2010
      • Maine PCMH Pilot
      • FirstSTEPS Collaborative
      • QC for Kids efforts to improve child health
    • 2012
      • CMS Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration
      • Launch of Community Care Teams
    • 2013
      • MaineCare Health Homes – an expansion of PCMH Pilot
      • QC 2014 features Dr. Donald Berwick and reaches 800+ attendees
      • Launch of Choosing Wisely in Maine
      • Maine State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative – QC contracted to support Health Homes, Behavioral Health Homes Learning Collaborative, Patient-Provider Partnership (P3) Pilots
    • 2014
      • MaineCare Behavioral Health Homes launched
      • QC 2014 features Dr. Doug Eby
      • Launch of Maine Chronic Pain Collaborative to address crisis in opioid prescribing
      • Launch of Chronic Disease Improvement Collaborative to improve diabetes, HTN care
    • 2015
      • QC implements staff/structural reorganization to build project management capacity
      • QC 2015 features Dr. Atul Gawande and hits maximum capacity of 1200 attendees
      • Launch of Spreading Choosing Wisely in Maine
      • QC selected by CMS to lead the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network (NNE-PTN)

Our Vision

Through the active engagement and alignment of people, communities, and healthcare partners, every person in the region will enjoy optimal health and have access to patient-centered care that is uniformly high quality, equitable, and efficient.