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Employers enlisted in effort to reduce ‘low-value’ health services

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Print this page By Robert Powell | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A task force group of Virginia employers has been created as part of the commonwealth’s effort to reduce the use of “low-value” health services — medical tests and procedures that research shows add little or no value to many treatments while potentially leading to patient harm and higher health costs.

In March, the Richmond-based Virginia Center for Health Innovation began a pilot program, Smarter Care Virginia, aimed at reducing use of these services. The project, funded by a $2.2 million grant, already involves six Virginia health systems and three clinical networks.

In partnership with Virginia Health Information (VHI) and Milliman MedInsight, VCHI began tracking low-value health care in 2013 using claims data from the commonwealth’s All Payer Claims Database and the Health Waste Calculator tool. Using 2017 claims data for 5 million Virginians, the VCHI/VHI low-value services report identified 2.07 million unnecessary services.

The employer task force announced Tuesday by Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Daniel Carey includes public and private employers. It is expected to help other employers throughout the state become involved in the project.

Carey will co-chair the group with Robert Blue, executive vice president and president and CEO of Dominion Energy's Power Delivery Group. 

Other task force members include:

• Chris Beckford, president and CEO, eTranservices


• Doug Bish, associate professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech


• Carlos Del Toro, president and CEO, SBG Technology Solutions


• Emily Elliott, director, Virginia Department of Human Resource Management


• Wina Giddens, director, Benefits & HRIS, The Port of Virginia


• Farrell Hanzaker, CFO, Virginia Beach City Public Schools


• Dean Lynch, executive director, Virginia Association of Counties


• Clayton Medford, vice president of government Affairs, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce


• Starr Oliver, senior executive vice president, chief marketing and HR officer, TowneBank


• Nicole Riley, Virginia state director, NFIB


• Lisa Swaney, chief human resource officer, Smithfield Foods


• Meredith Touchstone, director, benefits, Carmax


• Matthew Turner, vice president, Global Total Rewards, HRIS, and People Analytics, Genworth



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