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In the News

NeuStrategy Joins ECG
February 17, 2015 – NeuStrategy is pleased to announce the firm's alignment with ECG Management Consultants, a leading national healthcare consulting firm with over 40 years of outstanding service to hospitals, health systems, medical groups, academic medical centers, and children's hospitals across the country.

ECG's deep and comprehensive experience in strategy, finance, operations, and technology is the perfect complement to NeuStrategy's work in service line planning and center of excellence (COE) development. Through this transition, and for many years to come, you can expect the same level of outstanding insights and customer service that have been the hallmark of NeuStrategy. Additionally, you will benefit from the expertise, resources, and national presence that ECG provides with offices in Boston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

NeuStrategy's founding partners, Theodore Michalke and Kevin Dunne, thank you for your past support. More importantly, we look forward to continued work with you in the future as this alignment with ECG provides new opportunities for NeuStrategy's clients to access the expertise and support needed to thrive during this time of extraordinary change across the healthcare industry.

COE surveys and reports will be maintained on the NeuStrategy website until they are integrated into the ECG website in the coming months. In the meantime, learn more about ECG at www.ecgmc.com and explore ECG's expansive portfolio of services and thought leadership.

Click here to read the press release.

14 Characteristics of Neuroscience and Spine Centers of Excellence
October 9, 2014 – Beckers Hospital Review

Health system leaders across the country have embarked on restructuring efforts within their organizations to promote the effective delivery of value-based care and to reduce healthcare costs. Results from Chicago-based NeuStrategy's 2014 Neuroscience and Spine Center of Excellence Survey reveal that there has been a rapid evolution of COEs for dedicated neuro-intensive care units in the past decade. Click here to read the full article.

2014 Neuroscience and Spine COE Survey Results Define Excellence
October 9, 2014 – Now with the power of a decade of research into what defines centers of excellence, NeuStrategy announces the results of its 2014 Neuroscience and Spine COE Survey – a completely redesigned tool encompassing six distinct categories:

  • Comprehensive Neuroscience
  • Spine
  • Neurovascular/Stroke
  • Cranial Tumor
  • Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery
  • Specialty Neurology

In additional to the all-new Comprehensive Neuroscience category, which aggregates myriad facets of neuroscience and spine care into one COE Designation, for the first time ever, the new survey differentiates between Silver (Stage 3 Specialty Center) and Gold (Stage 4 Institute) Designations. In past surveys, the stage three and stage four programs were simply recognized in aggregate as centers of excellence, without distinguishing between the two well-developed program categories.

"With 10 years of data behind this research, we're now comfortable being able to publically differentiate the top-quartile performers," says Kevin Dunne, NeuStrategy cofounder and originator of the COE survey concept. "Since the COE model aggregates value across a wide range of clinical and research infrastructure, naturally the survey's top performers are most likely to be the frontrunners of clinical and research breakthroughs."

Since the first COE Survey was introduced in 2004, 271 organizations have completed a combination of the original neuroscience, stroke and spine surveys, positioning the process as an industry standard for measuring neuro and spine program performance and progression. The latest results include 35 organizations across 14 states. Eight earned Comprehensive Neuroscience Designations:

 Gold COE – University Hospitals Case Medical Center – Cleveland, Ohio
 Gold COE – University of Colorado Hospital – Aurora, Colorado
 Gold COE – University of Utah Clinical Neurosciences Center – Salt Lake City, Utah
 Silver COE – Carolinas Medical Center – Charlotte, North Carolina
 Silver COE – Mercy Hospital – Springfield, Missouri
 Silver COE – OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital Neuroscience – Columbus, Ohio
 Silver COE – Oregon Health & Science University – Portland, Oregon
 Silver COE – Swedish Health System Neuroscience Institute – Seattle, Washington

Organized around four key infrastructure components – programs, staff, facility and technology and business – the COE Survey differentiates programs on the basis of best practice. Data point after data point in the research findings demonstrates that COEs are uniquely positioned to provide the best possible outcomes in a highly efficient, cost-effective care environment.

"It takes determination, preparation and execution to develop centers of excellence and ensure the focus is on improving outcomes and driving down costs," adds Theodore Michalke, NeuStrategy cofounder and managing partner. "COEs are far more likely to provide the right care, in the right setting, at the right time."

Participation in the COE Survey provides health systems with an objective assessment that helps them define infrastructure gaps and benchmark performance to identify neuroscience and spine care development priorities. In addition to the opportunity to earn Comprehensive Neuroscience Designations, organizations may also be recognized for their performance in any of five discreet subspecialty categories including Spine, Neurovascular/Stroke, Cranial Tumor and Neuromodulation/Functional Neurosurgery and Specialty Neurology. As a result, NeuStrategy also awarded 45 Subspecialty COE Designations in this first round of results.

The survey remains open for additional organizations to participate.

Download NeuStrategy's FREE Executive Edition of the Neuroscience and Spine COE Survey White Paper.

The Path to Excellence Webinar Series
October 9, 2014 – NeuStrategy will stage a series of webinars revealing the critical infrastructure to be a center of excellence. Learn how hospitals and health systems are embracing to differentiate their programs and prepare for value-based care.

Register for the webinar or participate in the COE Survey.

2014 Neuroscience and Spine COE Survey - NeuStrategy's Most Expansive Ever
March 5, 2014 – NeuStrategy introduces the 2014 Neuroscience and Spine COE Survey, a completely redesigned tool encompassing:

  • Neuroscience
  • Spine
  • Neurovascular/Stroke
  • Cranial Tumor
  • Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery
  • Specialty Neurology

First introduced in 2004, the NeuStrategy COE Survey is the industry standard for measuring neuro and spine program performance and progression. Open for participation through April 30, 2014, the latest edition provides opportunities to earn a Silver or Gold COE Designation in neuroscience and five subspecialty neurological and spine categories.

Three Membership Levels ranging from FREE to PREMIER to PREMIER PLUS are available. Free participation includes the Comprehensive White Paper and an Executive Report Card, while the two premium memberships unlock the power of industry trends and performance benchmarks that can help organizations identify best practice to streamline processes and reduce resource utilization – as well as the opportunity to earn Silver or Gold COE Designations.

All participants can receive a 25% discount on the PREMIER PLUS membership through April 30. All past participant receive an additional 25% discount on either PREMIER or PREMIER PLUS membership through April 30.

NeuStrategy at the Podium
March 5, 2014 – NeuStrategy was an invited speaker at three recent venues in the United States and overseas. Click the event to download the slide deck for each presentation below:

19th Annual Stroke Belt Consortium Meeting
Orlando, Florida | February 28-March 1, 2014
Fulfilling its mission to bring together leaders to solve stroke care treatment, prevention, and education issues, NeuStrategy was invited to present at the Stroke Belt Consortium’s 19th Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, in February 2014.

Debbie Lombardi Hill, partner, presented on ACO stroke systems of care and the CMS two-midnight rule impact on stroke care.

2nd Annual Spine and Orthopedic Business Summit | InfoSource Events
Dallas, Texas | February 26-27, 2014
NeuStrategy staged an audience-driven, panel discussion at InfoSource Events’ 2nd Annual Spine and Orthopedic Business Summit in Dallas, Texas, in February 2014.

Kevin Dunne, partner, facilitated an interactive session to explore critical issues in program development, staffing, facility and technology needs and underlying business considerations.

4th Congress of Gulf Neurosurgical Society and 1st Gulf Neuroscience Nurses Conference
Doha, Qatar | November 28-30, 2013
NeuStrategy was invited to speak at the 4th Congress of the Gulf Neurosurgical Society and 1st Gulf Neuroscience Nurses Conference meetings in Doha, Qatar in November 2013.

Debbie Lombardi Hill, partner, shared NeuStrategy’s latest neuroscience and spine COE research and development of stroke systems of care to both the neurosurgical conference and nursing symposium attendees.

Webinar - The Stroke Call Dilemma, Then and Now
November 21, 2013 – With stroke call coverage still a challenge for many hospitals, this webinar presented research findings from over 200 hospitals and explored call coverage arrangements for neurology, neuroendovascular specialists, cerebrovascular neurosurgery and emerging telestroke arrangements. NeuStrategy discussed how stroke call arrangements have evolved from 2009 to 2013, including:

  • Specialty-specific stroke call coverage patterns and pay ranges
  • Hospital-employed resources to support on-call physicians
  • Telestroke access to stroke specialists

Access the recorded webinar, executive summary report and the full webinar slide deck.

2012 Stroke Specialist Call Survey Findings Presented
June 2013 – Debbie Lombardi Hill, NeuStrategy Partner, presented 2012 Stroke Specialist Call Survey findings at the InfoSource Comprehensive Stroke Centers Summit in Chicago on June 6, 2013. The 2012 survey results compare findings to a 2009 survey. For example, in 2012 more neurologists were covering call and 20% more hospitals were paying neurologists for call coverage compared to 2009.

For a copy of the research findings, click here.

Maintaining Hospital Cancer Program Accreditation: Worth the Effort?
June 2013 – More than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients are treated in the more than 1,500 American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited cancer programs nationwide. The new CoC standards, first released in 2011 and phased in by 2015, call for integration of additional layers of support, palliative care, genetic counseling, distress screening, survivorship plans, etc.; however, many cancer programs wonder if they can absorb the cost of implementing the new standards to maintain their CoC accreditation.

Some centers have allowed their accreditation status to lapse; others are taking very different approaches to meet the standards. Learn how three sizeable cancer programs adapted to the new standards in a report authored by Moira Feingold. Learn More

Telestroke Study Presented at World Stroke Congress
March 2013 – The Acute Stroke System for Emergent Regional Telestroke (ASSERT) study utilized Ochsner Medical Center’s ASSERT network to illustrate the return on investment for hub and spoke hospitals participating in one telestroke system by correlating the growth and financial impact of stroke services with the delivery of stroke interventions and alteration of transfer patterns.

The study shows the hub hospital experienced an increase in profitable advanced stroke interventions offsetting telestroke investments over time. The hub also demonstrated effective triage of stroke patients in surrounding areas, reducing unnecessary transfers and inpatient bed capacity constraints. The spoke hospitals in Ochsner’s telestroke network experienced new, incremental revenue (attributed to fewer transfers) to offset telestroke cost and afforded patients expert stroke care close to home. View the Poster

Behavioral Health White Paper Explores New Care Models
March 2013 – The behavioral health landscape is evolving. New, innovative behavioral healthcare models are essential for any organization engaged in clinical integration, accountable care and/or the implementation of patient-centered medical homes. Successfully executed, these new models will increase access to vital community-based services, reduce the reliance on high-cost emergency rooms and position providers for reimbursement models designed to share risk and promote better health outcomes.

Read more in NeuStrategy’s Behavioral Health Integration, Its Time Has Come - a white paper authored by Randy Autry who leads NeuStrategy’s team that is helping healthcare providers create the collaborative network of services necessary to integrate behavioral health services into a comprehensive care continuum. Learn More

Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Center Readiness Assessment
March 2013 – NeuStrategy provides hospitals and industry with the tools they need to achieve success. Armed with a keen understanding of the nuances of certification, the NeuStrategy team can help hospitals plan for stroke center certification through comprehensive readiness assessments and mock surveys - both integral steps in preparing interdisciplinary teams for the rigor of the real certification process. Learn More

NeuStrategy Introduces Behavioral Health Consulting Services
September 2012 – The days of healthcare administrators not giving mental health services the attention they need are waning, and a new behavioral health landscape is emerging. Progressive healthcare providers are embracing innovative structures that integrate behavioral health into a care continuum that allows them to accept financial risk and share in savings associated with better care management. The push to participate in these new reimbursement models is forging new partnerships between health systems, primary care, and community-based mental health treatment providers.

NeuStrategy has expanded its services to guide the development of a roadmap for behavioral health integration. Randy Autry, who helps healthcare provider networks create structured partnerships that prepare them for an evolving risk-based reimbursement paradigm, is leading the NeuStrategy team. Learn More

Participate in NeuStrategy's Stroke Specialist Call Survey
May 2012 – NeuStrategy is fielding its second nationwide survey to explore stroke call specialist coverage arrangements. The current research builds on the 2009 survey results to develop neurology coverage trends. It has also been expanded to explore endovascular and neurosurgery call arrangements, as well as probing telestroke's impact on access to stroke specialists. The survey will be open May 10, 2012. Learn More

NeuStrategy Expands Support for Stroke Center Certification
May 2012 – In 2007, NeuStrategy introduced its first in-depth study of stroke centers of excellence in The State of Stroke, Organizing for Success. Since then, NeuStrategy has expanded clinical program development services to support both Primary and Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. NeuStrategy's team assesses readiness and identifies critical gaps, then conducts an on-site mock survey to prepare interdisciplinary teams for The Joint Commission, DNV, HFAP or a state certifying organization survey. Learn More

New Survey Takes Important Step in Defining Comprehensive Spine Programs
July 2009 – NeuStrategy, Inc. and SpineMark Corporation announce the results of the nation's first-ever Spine Center of Excellence (COE®) Survey, a powerful new benchmarking tool to help define best practices in spine care. Learn More

NeuStrategy, SpineMark Partner to Conduct Nation's First Spine COE® Survey
March 2008 – NeuStrategy, Inc. and SpineMark Corporation have joined forces to conduct the nation's first comprehensive survey of medical and surgical spine programs. The results will provide an accounting of spine centers across the nation and uncover spine care program trends. Learn More

NeuStrategy Announces Formation of New Healthcare Consulting Group
June 2007 – Theodore Michalke, managing partner and co-founder, has announced the formation of NeuStrategy, Inc., a Chicago-based healthcare consulting practice focused on neuroscience, oncology and orthopedic center of excellence development.
Learn More