Specialists working day to day with primary care medical homes will move more easily into the role of patient-centered medical home neighbor (PCMH-N) than those who have not, notes Robert Krebbs, WellPoint’s director of payment innovation. WellPoint recently launched a medical neighborhood pilot for three specialties with clear care coordination alignment opportunities with primary care medical homes.
The neighborhood model requires education on the part of specialists and patients who have not been part of integrated delivery systems so they can better benefit from the new patient-centered medical world, Krebbs explains in this audio interview.
Although initally challenging, the engagement of specialists in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s medical home program generated several outstanding primary care-specialist collaborations that improved care coordination and reduced unnecessary utilization and spend related to difficult-to-manage patients, notes Donna Saxton, field team manager for BCBSM’s value partnerships program.
A pioneer since 2005 in the development of outcomes-based measures to evaluate patient care, BCBSM based its standards on the Chronic Care Model. Today, the payor acts as a resource for other medical home recognition and accreditation efforts.
If payment inequities can be addressed, communication and technology tools in place in large physician multispecialty groups make them ideal candidates for a medical neighborhood, suggests Terry McGeeney, MD, MBA, director of BDC Advisors. Dr. McGeeney, who spent 13 years of his practice career in a large multispecialty group, has also seen some FQHCs and managed Medicaid programs that do a good job of linking community and social supports required in medical neighborhoods.
As for engaging patients in this emerging integrated care delivery system, try explaining the medical neighborhood’s value proposition for them, he suggests. Patients already get why the integrated approach is good for physicians and insurance companies but need to hear why they should buy in to team care, patient portals and other aspects of centralized care coordination.
Despite the migration of some Pioneer ACOs to CMS’s Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), expect the surge in commercial accountable care organizations to continue in 2014, predicts Steven Valentine, president, The Camden Group. In this audio interview, Valentine suggests improvements to patient handoffs, an area in which ACOs have disappointed, in Valentine’s view, as well as expectations for the other much-modeled care delivery platform, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH).
In both the ACO and the PCMH, Valentine anticipates specialists will be critical parts of the solution, especially when it comes to emerging payment models, quality and performance.
In its quest to transform 70 to 80 percent of its physician practices to a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) over the next three years, WellPoint has adopted a “meet the practices where they are” philosophy, reports Julie Schilz, director of care delivery transformation for WellPoint. Each practice is at a different place in the transformation effort and requires specialized supports, she adds.
Smoothing the transformation rollout is the simultaneous participation of 500 WellPoint practices in CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) program, whose goals dovetail with key PCMH principles as though WellPoint had another partner in its transformation initiative, Schilz notes.
Just as important as practice support is transparency with health plan members, Schilz adds, especially when it comes to explaining the concept of the medical home neighborhood where care coordination is a collaboration between primary care and the specialist.
There’s education, there’s experience, and then there’s the ‘right stuff’ the indefinable personality traits that earmark an individual as a change agent, collaborator and ambassador of case management, says Annette Watson, senior vice president of community transformation for Taconic IPA (TIPA), of TIPA’s requirements for the RN case managers it hires for its advanced patient-centered medical homes.
Then there are the not insignificant contributions of the RN case manager to accountable and patient-centered care, which Ms. Watson describes in this interview.
While staff-buy-in and communication continue to challenge the embedded case manager model, the participant in CMS Innovation Center’s Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative says reimbursement for embedded case management is less of an obstacle today than in the past, due to funding-friendly care models and pilots descending from healthcare reform.
When health coaches employ motivational interviewing during patient encounters, expect upticks in medication adherence, weight loss, HbA1c levels and overall engagement, notes Alicia Vail, RN health coach for Ochsner Health System. Ochsner’s eight health coaches focus on patients with diabetes, hypertension and obesity who have come to their attention by way of physician referrals, health screenings and pre-chart reviews.
In this podcast, Ms. Vail describes how Ochsner Health System incorporates health coaches in its clinic structure and describes the benefits that result from the coaching intervention.
Primary care and the patient-centered medical home offer a great opportunity for health coaches to become allies with patients in improvement of their health, notes William Appelgate, executive director of the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium. Individuals with the highest health risks should be given priority, but those on the cusp of a serious health event also merit coaching assistance, he says. For providers new to the coaching conversation, Appelgate shares three benefits of incorporating health coaches in the care process including the upping of their ‘outcomes game.’
Although the healthcare industry is well-acquainted with the patient-centered medical home, the model is still quite new and novel to patients, notes, Jay Driggers, director of consumer engagement at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. In this interview, Driggers describes what’s at stake when moving from a reactive provider model to a proactive model.
Nurse educators provide essential support to physician practices in Florida Blue’s rollout of a statewide patient-centered medical home, explains Barbara Haasis, RN, CCRN, senior clinical lead for Florida Blue’s quality reward and recognition programs. They help practices meet key disease metrics within Florida Blue’s performance scorecards, and can direct providers to both internal and external resources to help them resolve patient issues. Ms. Hassis also explains why providing after-hours access is a prerequisite for practices in the medical home program as well as the case manager’s contribution to this program.