Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs)

The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) is required to run a program of formal and informal performance improvement projects (PIPs). The goal of these PIPs is to make improvements over time on a chosen topic.
PIPs include:

  • Using indicators to measure how we are doing;
  • Making changes meant to lead to improvement;
  • Studying whether the changes worked;
  • Planning activities to increase or sustain improvement.
Title Type Duration Description
Initiation and Engagement of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence Treatment (IET) PIP Formal 2017-2020 View report on the IET PIP
Chlamydia Screening for Women (CHL) Informal 2018-2019 View report on the CHL Quality Improvement Project (coming in February 2020)
Clinical Operations Unit Quality Improvement Projects
Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Informal 2019-2020

The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life by pain and symptom management of a chronic illness. It is important to understand that palliative care is not hospice care.

In fact, palliative services are very different from hospice care in that you can receive support while still pursuing a cure.

Palliative care is available at any stage of a serious illness and can be combined with aggressive treatments. The benefit of palliative care is that palliative care experts can work with and help manage pain, symptoms and side-effects while the doctor focuses on treatment. It can be provided in several settings including a hospital, home, or long-term care facility.

This clinical project was initiated to explore the possibility of paying clinical providers for ACP and then promoting its use.
The project has successfully achieved its first and primary goal and is now designing future educational efforts to providers and members alike across the State.

Individual Education Plan (IEP) Informal 2019

Many children on Individualized Education Plans are not receiving medical care through a medical home who could provide valuable medical guidance as part of the IEP process.

Areas for Improvement: Decrease the number of IEPs reviewed by DVHA physicians and increase the number of children who have a medical home. Vermont children have a medical home that can provide valuable medical guidance as part of the IEP process.

Long term goal: Decrease the number of IEPs that come to DVHA for review to under 10 per month. Short Term Goal: Increase the efficiency of the system through electronic processing.

Identify children and families that need additional supports and refer to VCCI. In the past 3 months, 98 individuals, an average of 33 per month, were received by the DVHA for review. Medical homes were found for 41 of them: 41% of the total.

Urine Drug Testing (UDT) Informal 2019-2020 In 2018 urine drug testing (UDT) costs totaled over $35 million for VT Medicaid. Costs have risen significantly from 2016 to 2018 with the most significant spending noted among independent labs. The identified rising cost and disproportionate distribution of spending prompted collaboration with community stakeholders to investigate urine drug testing practices and potential improvements and recommendations that might be made to improve UDT practices to promote informed treatment. The community work group will review UDT best practices, identify barriers to best practices, and develop best practice recommendations.






Department of Vermont Health Access

280 State Drive
Waterbury, Vermont 05671-1010
Phone: 802-879-5900
Fax: 802-241-0260

Contact List for staff email, telephone & fax numbers

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday (Excluding Holidays) 7:45am - 4:30pm

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Kelly Provost
DVHA Public Records Officer
Visit the Agency of Administration site for the Public Records Database

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