Posts made in December, 2012

Advanced Illness Management Care Program Launched

Innovative Effort to Reduce Hospitalizations and Health Care Costs

Even with COPD and heart problems, 81-year-old Air Force veteran Edward Fogarty of Rocklin says he leads a fulfilling life thanks to Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® program. Now, San Mateo County patients with late-stage chronic illness like Edward can access the same resources and support needed through AIM’s next major expansion in Northern California.  The expansion extends access to eligible Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Mills-Peninsula Medical Group, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Sutter Care at Home patients.

Dr. Brad Stuart participated in a Successful Aging event hosted by the David Druker Center for Health Care Innovation in October 2012.

“AIM uses a nurse-led interdisciplinary team to bridge the gaps between the hospital, the community physician’s office, and home for our sickest patients,” said Brad Stuart, M.D., Senior Medical Director for Sutter Care at Home, an affiliate of Sutter Health. “Quality, affordable care for all of our patients is a priority and the expansion of AIM systemwide complements our mission and values. AIM supports giving the right care, at the right time, at the right level of care for the patient’s goals.

The AIM program provides nurse-led care management, palliative care, and advance care planning for patients with late-stage chronic illness. With a pilot in Sutter Health’s Sacramento Sierra Region showing positive outcomes, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded Sutter Health a three-year, $13-million Health Care Innovation Award to support the expansion of AIM throughout Northern California. The Sacramento Sierra Region pilot showed reduced hospitalizations and improved care transitions, contributing to an improved quality of life for patients enrolled in AIM. The success of this pilot was crucial to Sutter Health receiving the CMMI grant. Since 2010, the Sacramento Sierra Region pilot:

  • Reported a 75 percent reduction in ICU days, an average decrease of one or more days for hospital stays, and more than 50 percent reduction in hospitalizations at 90 days post-enrollment.
  • Showed high patient and family satisfaction (4.7 out of 5).
  • Reduced costs for payers by $5,000 per patient at 90 days post-enrollment.

“Before AIM, I had a choice of calling 911 and that’s it, and I’d end up in the hospital,” Fogarty said. “I don’t want to go to the E.R. What AIM gives me is that I can call someone besides 911, and they give me advice and counsel, which really helps.”


Margie O’Clair, 650.934.6970;

MPHS Diabetes Expert Dr. David Klonoff Elected as AIMBE Fellow

David C. Klonoff, M.D., FACP, medical director of the Diabetes Research Institute at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He will be inducted at the Fellow Induction and Awards Ceremony at AIMBE’s 22nd annual event in February, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

David Klonoff, M.D., Medical Director, Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute

Being named a Fellow is considered one of the highest honors in the biomedical engineering discipline. Fellows represent the top two percent of the medical and biological engineering community.

AIMBE Fellows are leaders in bioengineering who are working to realize the institute’s vision to provide medical and biological engineering innovation for the benefit of humanity. The AIMBE College of Fellows consists of 1,000 individuals who are the outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry and government. These leaders in the field have distinguished themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice and/or education.

“The mission of AIMBE is to promote public policies to foster advancement in medical and biological engineering,” Dr. Klonoff said.  “At the Mills-Peninsula Diabetes Research Institute, we are applying advances in medical and bioengineering to develop new products to help people with diabetes. This award will help call attention to our hospital’s efforts to develop novel engineered devices, drug delivery systems and new medications that are safe and effective in the fight against diabetes, which is the world’s greatest epidemic.”

About Dr. David Klonoff

Dr. David Klonoff founded the Dorothy L. and James E. Frank Diabetes Research Institute of Mills-Peninsula Health Services to facilitate development of new devices and drugs for people with diabetes.  He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Klonoff’s productivity includes 160 publications, two patents, and 86 clinical trials as principle investigator.  Dr. Klonoff chaired the scientific advisory board for developing the first FDA-approved insulin patch pump and participated in development of the first FDA-approved dedicated diabetes telemedicine system, the first FDA-approved inhaled insulin, and the first three FDA-approved incretin drugs for diabetes.  He is currently the lead investigator for the first-ever randomized controlled multicenter trial of the world’s first artificial pancreas product for outpatient use. Dr. Klonoff has chaired or served on 34 government grant review panels related to diabetes technology, including panels for National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, JDRF, and the University of Michigan. 

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Mills-Peninsula Earns an ‘A’ for Patient Safety

Mills-Peninsula earned the top score of “A” in The Leapfrog Group’s new report card focused on patient safety at hospitals. This is the second time in two years that The Leapfrog Group has named Mills-Peninsula as one of the top American hospitals for safety and quality.

The scores, conveyed in a letter grade from A to F, can be viewed at To develop the methodology and calculate the grades, a panel of patient safety experts provided guidance to The Leapfrog Group. The panel selected 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, analyzed the data and determined the weight of each measure based on evidence, opportunity for improvement and impact, according to The Leapfrog Group.

“Mills-Peninsula is proud to have earned The Leapfrog Group’s highest grade for patient safety,” says Mills-Peninsula CEO Bob Merwin. “This is great news for our community and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire organization.”

“Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees. Mills-Peninsula has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high quality care,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

The 26 measures analyzed included the number of patients who develop severe pressure ulcers, have surgical objects left inside their body or develop central line-associated bloodstream infections. They also take into consideration the frequency with which the hospital employs best practices to prevent pneumonia, infections or other complications.

The safety scores also looked at “Structural Measures,” such as whether a hospital uses a computerized physician order entry system (CPOE) to prevent medication errors. Mills-Peninsula achieved the high score of “fully meets standards” for use of CPOE.

Of the 2,652 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 729 earned an “A,” 679 earned a “B,” and 1,243 earned a “C” or below. Each of the Sutter Health hospitals that received a Hospital Safety Score earned a “C” or higher. Mills-Peninsula is part of the Sutter Health network of care.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.