Friday, April 13, 2012

Essex Happenings 4.13.12


Essex Heritage Development Committee

On Thursday, April 5, 2012, I was going to participate by phone in an Essex Heritage Development Committee meeting that focused on the upcoming Heritage Hero Dinner scheduled for May 9, 2012. For ticket information call 978 740 04444 or contact That meeting has now been moved to early May.

Area Comes Together to Protest MBTA Changes

Several area groups, particularly disability-based groups, the elderly and students are gathering to protest dramatic increases in pricing and reduction of services. The hope is that the changes will be temporarily deferred until additional funds can be found in the budget to change the planned cuts.

Salem to Boston Ferry in Jeopardy

The popular passenger ferry that runs daily along the Mass coast from Salem to the capital city each summer is being discussed to learn how it will be managed this summer and into the future. We will keep you posted on any changes that have been put in place.

Salem Partnership Annual Dinner

On April 3, 2012., The Salem Partnership held its 25th annual meeting at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel. As one of the original founding members of this valuable civic municipal organization, I am particularly disappointed to miss the meeting for the second year in a row. This year, the public-private partnership previewed a Quarter Century film about the history and accomplishments of the group. I was pleased earlier this year to participate in the development of the film and am sorry to have missed the preview of the film. I missed the meeting, as I am still recovering from a medical experience a couple of weeks ago. At the meeting the long term Senate President was recognized for his many years of support. At the meeting the body approved Ms Patricia Messervey, the CEO of Salem State University, as the President of the organization for the upcoming year. John Hall and I, from Salem Five, have been proud and pleased to serve a term as the President of this group. I spoke this morning to Patricia Zaido, the CEO of the Partnership and she will send material from the meeting to me by mail, since I was not able to attend.

Salem Five Annual Meeting

After serving for nearly a four- decade career as an active community banker at the 157 year old Salem Mutual Institution, I am now pleased to represent the community as a corporator at the bank. I have served in that capacity for almost two decades, and I attended the meeting held late that day in the banking rooms. The first item on the agenda that day was to announce that in February 2012, the merger with Stoneham Saving Bank was completed and the group was then introduced to the Corporators who would represent that bank on the merger board. The group of combined corporators then voted to confirm the decision promoted last year to remain mutual. The leadership then presented a series of slides that outlined excellent growth and successful performance in the year just ended. The bank branch network that has reached 30 locations was discussed. A purely social meeting was announced for May 8, 2012 scheduled for the historic Hawthorne Hotel.

North Shore Elder Services News

This article was published in a recent Boston Business Journal

Dovetail soaring by keeping a lid on hospital readmissions
Boston Business Journal by Julie M. Donnelly, Reporter
Date: Friday, March 30, 2012

Needham-based Dovetail Health expects to see its revenue triple this year, to more than $10 million, by taking on one of the most pressing cost issues in the health care industry: avoidable hospital readmissions.

Theirs is a low-tech solution. Dovetail sends specially trained pharmacists into the homes of patients who have been identified as “high-risk” for being readmitted to the hospital.

Dovetail was founded in 2005 but has taken off in the past two years. The company has a Massachusetts head count of 50, and expects to add 20 new positions this year. Dovetail recently opened branches New Jersey and California with four workers each. Next, the company plans to expand into Florida and Arizona. In addition to expanding to new states, Dovetail has also recently struck deals with health care giants United Health care and CVS Caremark. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

One key driver of demand is that hospitals will soon be penalized for “excessive” readmissions among Medicare patients. Starting in fiscal 2013, hospitals could lose 1 percent of their total Medicare reimbursements if an excessive number of patients are readmitted, and the penalty increases to 2 percent of reimbursements in 2014 and 3 percent in 2015.

Another sea change boosting the company’s fortunes is the shift to global payments or other risk-sharing agreements where hospitals are put on a budget for a patient’s care.

“The most frustrating thing in this business is misaligned incentives, as the incentives become more aligned to keep people out of the hospital, our business grows,” said CEO Stever Aubrey. Dovetail works mostly with patients in the Medicare managed care population, but also works with chronically ill younger patients with private insurance.

The company’s eight-week training program for pharmacists covers medication management, and beyond.

“Coming out of the hospital, a lot of patients receive a scribbled list of new medications to take, with no explanation,” Aubrey said. “Since we know that 66 percent of avoidable readmissions are due to adverse medication events, our eureka was, ‘We’ve got to train pharmacists as care managers.’ ”

The company’s proprietary software guides pharmacists to ask the right questions during home visits. Pharmacists ask about nutrition, scout out potential fall risks, assess psychosocial issues, and look in the cupboards to see what over-the-counter remedies the patient might be using.

Dovetail’s clients include hospitals and insurers alike. The company has worked with Tufts Health Plan, Steward Health Care System and Cape Cod Health Care, among others.

Dovetail has recently completed a study showing that the service reduced readmissions by 36 percent for its client Health New England, an insurer in western Massachusetts, which is owned by hospital system Bay State Health Care.

“That sounds about right,” Health New England CEO Peter Straley said. “Even a cynical old person like me believes it’s having a positive impact on patients and lowering health care costs.” Straley said the insurer added the service last year as one of several case management offerings.

Aubrey would not disclose the price of the service, which he said varies widely. For some clients, including Health New England, the pricing is per-member, per-month.

Paul J. Lanzikos 
Executive Director 
North Shore Elder Services 
152 Sylvan Street 
Danvers, MA 01923-3568 
978/624-2244 (TTY)
North Shore Elder Services 
Serving Danvers, Marblehead, Middleton, Peabody, Salem
Life. Made Easier.
Life is Short: Wear Your Party Pants – A One Woman Show with Loretta LaRoche
May 6, 2012
North Shore Music Theater, Beverly, MA
Order tickets: 978 232 7200 /
P Before printing this e-mail think if it is necessary. Think Green!

Sensational Grant News from NSES

North Shore Elder Services of Danvers received a check in the amount of $6,500.00 today from the Medtronic Foundation for At Your Side. This is a great piece of news, and a generous gift from a local community company,

Call for NSES FOCUS group Participants

NSES are helping North Shore Medical Center in their efforts to gain a fuller understanding of the health needs and consumer expectations of older North Shore residents. Specifically, we are serving as the host site for a focus group to be held on Tuesday, March 20th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. The focus group is being moderated by consultants hired by North Shore Medical Center.
We are looking for 8 to 10 persons aged 65 years and older who would like to participate. They do not need to be current or past patients of the medical center. Each participant will receive $30 as compensation for their participation.

• Date: Tuesday, March 20 10:00 -11:30 a.m. at North Shore Elder Services
• Length of focus group: 90 minutes. Groups will explore participants’ perceptions of their community (strengths/needs), health issues of concerns, and needed programming/services that they think could address those concerns.
• 8-10 participants total per group
• Serving light snacks (no meals)

If you are age eligible and are interested and / or if know of others who are, please contact Jennifer Quinn, North Shore Elder Services Director of Community Services, 978 624 2284\ Please address a questions to her.

Passing of a local legend

On Saturday, I attended a very difficult wake in Danvers.
A friend and a St. John’s Prep Legend died. I will not attempt to chronicle the career of Paul “Buster” Di Vincenzo at the Danvers parochial boys school, except to say he will be one of a handful of non religious persons who will be buried after a funeral mass at the Prep chapel. Buster was a star at the Prep as a senior when I was a freshman. He was one of the very few seniors at that time who paid any attention to freshmen at the school. Paul later became a dear and close friend and I will miss the many times we spent together speaking about specific aspects of Prep matters. My wife and I attended his wake and will attend a handicapped accessible section of the school chapel for the funeral. Rest in Peace ‘Buster’, you will be missed by many including this writer.

Red Sox Opening Day

I wonder if it is appropriate that the new Sox season if starting on Friday the 13th. We can only hope that the 1 and 5 start will get better.

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