Components of the DSRIP Workforce Training Strategy

“I am not a teacher… but an awakener” – Robert Frost

Samir D’Sa, Principal, NY DSRIP Services, Charles Baumgart, MD, Senior Medical Director and Phil Wirtjes, Sr. Associate, Advisory Services, xG Health Solutions, January 18, 2016

DSRIP Workforce Training - xGHealthThe NY Medicaid DSRIP program mandates significant workforce training because DSRIP is shifting the paradigm from hospital-focused care to delivering care in the outpatient and community setting. The healthcare workforce in NY state is indeed confronting an awakening that is likely to upend traditional business models and empower clinical caregivers to truly work at the “top of their license.”

As Performing Provider Systems (PPS’) begin to develop their workforce strategy, special attention is needed for training and education. High-performing DSRIP PPS’ will equip their healthcare workforce with capabilities that set them up to succeed in a value-based reimbursement environment. Organizing training for tens of thousands of healthcare professionals can be daunting – we offer a framework that PPS’ can use to create a training strategy for their workforce.

Here are a few basic questions. The answers help shape the training strategy for your PPS.

Who needs to be trained?

  • What new roles is DSRIP creating (e.g., care management teams, community health workers)?
  • Which employees need training for redeployment to new roles?
  • Should employees of vendors that interact with patients get training?
  • How do we prioritize training for existing employees?
  • Should we prioritize those whose positions may be at risk?
  • Should we focus on employees/providers best positioned to deliver the largest impact on DSRIP results?
  • etc.


What training topics are pertinent?

  • What general training topics apply universally (e.g., DSRIP 101)?
  • What training is project-specific… and within project training, should there be basic and advanced training for different providers involved?
  • What is the right medium (e.g., webinar vs. classroom) and frequency (one time or recurring)?
  • What are the major gaps in current state training that need to be filled?
  • etc.


How should the training operating model be structured?

  • What organizational structure (e.g., shared service), processes, or technology should be in place?
  • How should training effectiveness be documented, measured, and evaluated?
  • What is the role of state programs, vendors, and educational institutions?
  • What train-the-trainer capabilities are needed? What managerial training capabilities are needed?
  • etc.


When does training get delivered (roadmap)?

  • When should each type of training be delivered? Should we front-end training in years 1 and 2 OR spread it equally across 5 years?
  • Should we offer all PCP-related training in one batch to a practice, or should they be staggered?
  • Should we prioritize front-end workers over executives? In which circumstances should they be trained together?
  • Which trainings must require refresher courses? How often?
  • What approach should we use for training under-performing providers?
  • etc.


Which special considerations should be top of mind?

  • What are the guiding principles for effective and efficient training delivery? What are the elements of team-based training?
  • What specific training modifications are needed to account for cultural differences and hotspots?
  • What change management practices should complement the training strategy? What are the top risks and mitigation anticipated?
  • When is hands-on, immersion training with real-world cases essential (e.g., embedded care managers)?
  • etc.


Training on such a large scale across the PPS is essential to DSRIP success, but can be a herculean effort. With some forethought, planning, and structure, PPS’ can roll out a pragmatic training program that meets DOH requirements and delivers real value to their workforce.

For more information about DSRIP, contact Andrew Blackmon at

Rocky Edmondson RN, BSN, MBA, CCRN
Senior Director, Bundled Payments, Care Redesign and Management Advisors, xG Health Solutions

Rocky Edmondson is the Senior Director of Bundled Payments for Care Redesign and Management Advisors at xG Health Solutions. Rocky has been involved in workflow redesign, program implementation, and analytic evaluation of Bundled Payment Programs across the country, and he coaches Hospitals, Health Systems, Post-Acute Providers, and Physician Groups on how to successfully implement care redesign in the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) and CJR Programs.

Rocky’s passion is helping people to understand the intricacies of Bundled Payment Programs. He has a talent for teaching people how to cut through all the noise and just do the things that matter to be successful in these programs.

Rocky holds an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Hawaii Maui, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Boise State University.

Prior to joining xG Health Solutions, Rocky was the Southeast Region Director of Clinical Operations for Remedy Partners, overseeing program design, implementation and analytic evaluations for Bundled Payment Programs. Prior to embarking on a career in Bundled Payments, Rocky was a Registered Nurse for 18 years, working in a number of positions within Critical Care. Before becoming a Nurse, Rocky was an Institutional Broker at Merrill Lynch and advised a number of healthcare systems and large corporations on cash management strategies. In addition, Rocky has started several businesses and provided consulting for small business startups. Rocky served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Recon Marine.

Janet Comrey RN, BSN, MHSA
Director, Population Health Solutions, Geisinger Health System

Janet Comrey, RN, BSN, MHSA has over 30 years of diversified nursing and leadership experience at Geisinger Health system and currently serves as Director of a small department embedded within Population Health. One of her key roles is managing the Bundle Payment for Care Improvement (BPCI) program since January 2014 earning an overall positive net payment reconciliation to date. Janet also serves as the coordinator for Project Achieve at Geisinger which is a national PCORI funded study related to patient’s perceptions of transitions of care.

Janet received her nursing education through Geisinger’s diploma program, her BSN through Bloomsburg University, and later earned her graduate degree from Marywood University. During her tenure at Geisinger she taught quality improvement methodology and facilitated improvement teams the Geisinger Quality Institute. She is currently enrolled in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Advisory program.

Professional memberships include Sigma Theta Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, American Society for Quality.

Andrew Blackmon, MBA, MHS
Chief Sales and Business Development Officer

Chief Sales and Business Development Officer Andrew Blackmon, MBA, MHS, has more than 18 years of experience in healthcare product sales, marketing, and strategy.

Before joining xG Health, Andrew was vice president of sales for population health and risk management solutions at McKesson. He came to McKesson through acquisition of MedVentive, an early population health vendor. Before MedVentive, he served as vice president of enterprise solutions development at MedAssets. He is a past president of the Georgia chapter of HIMSS, and he has held strategy and planning positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Orlando Health.

Andrew has an MBA and a Master’s of Health Science from the University of Florida Warrington, College of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Rollins College.

Holly Barbella, RN, MBA

Risk Coordinator, Geisinger Health System

fuvb ekfhve v

Earl P. Steinberg, MD, MPP
Chief Executive Officer

Earl P. Steinberg, MD, MPP, is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare quality improvement and serves as xG Health’s chief executive officer. Earl also is an adjunct professor of Medicine and of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University and a member of Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association’s National Medical Advisory Panel.

Before joining xG Health, Earl was executive vice president of Innovation & Dissemination, and chief, Healthcare Solutions Enterprise at Geisinger Health System.

Before joining Geisinger, he was senior vice president for Clinical Strategy, Quality & Outcomes at WellPoint, Inc., the largest commercial health insurer by membership in the US, and president and CEO of Resolution Health Inc. (RHI), a leading healthcare data analysis company that provides innovative quality improvement and cost reduction services to health plans, employers, pharmacy benefit managers, and disease management companies.

Before joining RHI, Earl spent six years as vice president of Covance Health Economics and Outcomes Services Inc., director of its Quality Assessment and Improvement Systems Division, and co-director of its Outcomes Studies Group. He also spent 12 years on the full-time faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where he was professor of Medicine and of Health Policy and Management and director of the Johns Hopkins Program for Medical Technology and Practice Assessment, and four years on the Federal Physician Payment Review Commission. He co-chaired the Institute of Medicine’s panel on Standards for Development of Trustworthy Practice Guidelines.

Earl has received many awards, including the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Faculty Scholar Award in General Internal Medicine (1984), the “Outstanding Young Investigator” Award from the Association for Health Services Research (1988), and a Special Presidential Visionary Award from the National Kidney Foundation (NFK) (2004) for his work as the scientific director of the NKF’s landmark Kidney Disease Outcomes and Quality Initiative, which produced more than 250 clinical practice guidelines for management of patients with end-stage renal disease. He also is a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and AcademyHealth, and he has published more than 125 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Earl received his AB from Harvard College (summa cum laude), his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and a Master of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government. He performed his residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.