A Regional Integrated Transformation Zone (RITZ) is a community of service providers who are committed to better health outcomes and a higher quality of life for populations who are not achieving their desired clinical goals.

As a first of its kind initiative developed by the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management (AIMM), a RITZ is a strategic response to gaps in medication management systems nationwide. 

Appropriate use of medications is the thread that ties everything together, linking health care and desired health outcomes. If the medications are not right, not working, or patients are unable to manage their medications, then the healthcare problems will not be solved. 

What’s the problem? 

Many health care organizations see the value of comprehensive medication management and its linkage to achieving desired health outcomes and quality metrics, however, these systems are often unable to take their Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) programs to full scale to serve all populations in need. The existing payment structure and plans do not readily support CMM, therefore delivery systems often resort to self-funding CMM for small high-risk populations and scaling back on full CMM services. Moving to influence those factors to fully support CMM requires a different team effort and often collaboration among local organizations and payers.

What’s the solution? 

A Regional Integrated Transformation Zone (RITZ) is the solution to this crucial problem. RITZ requires a heightened focus on building CMM services at the organizational level and delivering and sustaining CMM services at a regional and statewide level. RITZ integrates embedded financial payment incentives for ongoing sustainability.

In every community there are organizations and people ready to lead and convene an optimal medication coordinated care service. Local or state-wide coalitions consisting of vested community partners can collaborate to install and sustain a coordinated delivery system that provides access to comprehensive medication management to patient populations that can benefit from the service. Each coalition is organized by a convener, a group of people dedicated to facilitating community engagement and driving change in how health care is coordinated and delivered.

Example of A RITZ Community in Action

Who’s in a RITZ community? 

When these stakeholders work together with the patient in mind and have a method to fill the gaps in the local medication care coordinator, greater health equality is achieved:

  • Conveners: Community organizations that unite people
  • Payers: Insurance companies and government organizations underwrite patient care costs
  • Providers: Medical, health, and social service professionals who care for patients
  • Patient Advocates: Caregivers, social workers and/or other advocates that represent the voice of a patient
  • Partners and Sponsors: Individuals or organizations that fund start-up costs

Hear from a Successful Community

Empire Health Foundation (Spokane, WA) has convened and funded community stakeholders to eliminate health disparities in eastern Washington State. Focusing on coordination of care, the stakeholders are forming a coalition to address disparities in various high-risk populations. AIMM facilitated the design and implementation of a service delivery system that integrated social services with comprehensive medication management to address Medication Related Problems (MRP’s) and Social Determinants of Health. This RITZ is currently partnering with local payers to establish value-based agreements to sustain these services for their community.