Posts Tagged ‘primary care’

Infographic: Primary Care’s View of Changing Healthcare Landscape

August 12th, 2015 by Melanie Matthews


Primary care providers are seeing a host of changes in the delivery and reimbursement of the care they provide.

A new infographic by the Commonwealth Fund looks at the perception of physicians and nurse practitioners and physician assistants of these emerging models.

6 Value-Based Physician Reimbursement Models: Action Plans for Alignment, Analytics and Profitability In today’s value-based healthcare sphere, providers must not only shoulder more responsibility for healthcare outcomes, cost and quality but also align with emerging compensation models rewarding these efforts—models that often seem confusing or contradictory. The challenges for payors and partners in creating a common value-based vision are sizing the reimbursement model to the provider organization and engaging physicians’ skills, knowledge and behaviors to foster program success.

6 Value-Based Physician Reimbursement Models: Action Plans for Alignment, Analytics and Profitability examines a set of provider compensation models across the collaboration continuum, advising adopters on potential pitfalls and suggesting strategies to survive implementation bumps.

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Infographic: Primary Care Providers and the Newly Insured

June 22nd, 2015 by Melanie Matthews

Nearly 60 percent of physicians and 64 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants have seen an increasing number of Medicaid patients and patients who were previously uninsured since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new infographic by the Commonwealth Fund.

The infographic also looks at how these providers believe the increase in patient volume has impacted the quality of care they provide.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial OutcomesWhile others wait for the healthcare industry to complete its transition to value-based reimbursement, Bon Secours Medical Group has already aligned itself with payment reform, leveraging its care team and providers and automating workflows to enjoy immediate rewards from its patient-centered approach.

Positioning for Value-Based Reimbursement: Leveraging Care Management for Clinical and Financial Outcomes describes how this 600-provider medical group has primed its providers to employ a broad mix of team-based care, technology and retooled care delivery systems to maximize quality and clinical outcomes and reduce spend associated with its managed patients.

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BCBSM Physician Incentives Target 5 Root Causes of High-Cost Healthcare

February 17th, 2015 by Cheryl Miller

Designed to target underlying reasons for high-cost healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s (BCBSM) Physician Group Incentive Program (PGIP) rewards and incentivizes providers to enhance the delivery of care. To address poorly aligned incentives, for example, they developed tiered fees based on performance measured at the population level, not just at the individual physician level or patient’s level, says Donna Saxton, BCBSM’s field team manager of BCBSM’s value partnerships program.

How has the program evolved? The several root causes of high-cost healthcare within our system were readily apparent: poorly aligned incentives, a lack of population focus, very fragmented healthcare delivery, a lack of focus on process excellence or process improvement and a weak primary care foundation. As we’ve developed our Physician Group Incentive Program (PGIP) initiative, we were strategic and deliberate in how we were going to address the root causes of our high-cost system, keeping in mind the tenets and the philosophy of the PGIP program.

To address poorly aligned incentives, we developed tiered fees based on performance measured at the population level, not just at the individual physician level or patient’s level.

Tiered performance fees also addresses the lack of population focus and places emphasis on all patients and payor registries.

The one thing that really makes our PGIP program unique is that we are payor-agnostic. The incentive dollars we have distributed through the life of the program readily help and incentivize other payors in the state, because if these capabilities are implemented, they ultimately serve all the patients in our state. We’re very proud of that because we feel that that is part of the servant leadership we need to do for patients and members in our state.

To attack the fragmented healthcare delivery, we’ve organized our systems of care, aligning our incentives for primary care physicians, hospitals and specialists.

We also have collaborative quality initiatives, which help sharpen our physicians, specialists and care delivery people on the science of process improvement.

Our PCMH initiative is our pinnacle initiative, which we believe has strengthened our primary care foundation across the state.

generating medical home savings
Donna Saxton, field team manager of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s (BCBSM) value partnerships program, currently oversees the team of representatives that support the statewide collaborative relationships with 44 physician organizations (PO) and 39 organized systems of care (OSCs) that participate in the BCBSM Physician Group Incentive Program (PGIP).

Source: Generating Medical Home Savings and Quality Improvements Through Outcome-Based Measures

Infographic: The Game of ACO

June 11th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

The accountable care movement shows no signs of slowing, with more and more healthcare organizations choosing to join an accountable care organization (ACO). The first step to becoming involved in an ACO is identifying community partnerships and building relationships, especially with primary care, according to a new infographic from the National Council for Behavioral Health.

This infographic defines an ACO and outlines all the necessary steps and benefits to becoming involved in an ACO.

Want to know more about accountable care organizations? 2013 Healthcare Benchmarks: Accountable Care Organizations documents the numerous ways in which accountable care is transforming healthcare delivery, particularly in the area of care coordination, where the ACO model has had the greatest impact for this year’s respondents.

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4 Trends for Healthcare Providers in 2014

January 30th, 2014 by Jessica Fornarotto

Dual-track medical homes, e-visits, retooled patient handoffs and more post-acute care are predicted provider trends for 2014, according to Steven Valentine, president of The Camden Group. HIN interviewed Valentine prior to his presentation during an October webinar on Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2014: A Strategic Planning Session.

HIN: What is the physician practice going to look like in 2014? How has the primary care team evolved to meet the Triple Aim values inherent in the PCMH and accountable care models?

(Steven Valentine): We should expect to continue to see consolidation amongst the medical groups. The independent practice associations will begin to assimilate together because they need to put more money into their infrastructure. And many of the organizations have underperformed, in all honesty.

The primary care team is still critical. We’ve benefitted by keeping many primary care doctors around because they were negatively hurt with their net worth in the recession in 2008-2010. But it’s slowly coming back and we’re starting to see those physicians thinking about retirement again. The reality is, we’re never going to replace all of these primary care doctors as they wind down their practice. We need to do a better job of getting telehealth going and utilizing e-visits. We’re seeing the health plans starting to pay for those e-visits, as well as having the consumer who uses them use a credit card and pay at that time, just like a visit.

We’re going to have to look at different models. Obviously, the nurse practitioner is getting more involved with the primary care. And yes, they’re still pursuing the Triple Aim. We know that quality scores, satisfaction scores and trying to manage cost per unit is still a critical focus of the triple aim moving forward with population health.

Lastly, with a PCMH in accountable care, while some of the pioneer accountable care organizations (ACOs) reduce themselves out of pioneer into the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), we still have a number of organizations and it’s growing. The commercial ACOs have been very successful in California.

We fully expect accountable care to continue. We think the PCMH will evolve into two tracks. The first track is a primary care PCMH. The spinoff is a chronic care medical home that has the multidisciplinary team organized around a chronic disease. This is a model developed by CareMore years ago in Southern California and it’s been expanded across the country. As I travel the country, I run into organizations that have set up these chronic care centers around the chronic disease.

HIN: Regarding the Pioneer ACO program, one of the top performers in the CMS pioneer program, Monarch HealthCare, told us that it’s going to be working to engage specialists in care coordination roles in year two and year three. What’s ahead for specialists in terms of quality and performance improvement as well as shouldering perhaps more care coordination duties, especially for Medicare patients?

(Steven Valentine): The specialists are going to be a critical piece to this whole solution. They have been a tremendous asset in the area of bundled payments, where you have the facility fee and physician fee combined into one payment. That works for both the Medicare as well as the commercial side. You’re beginning to see more of the bundled payments within an ACO.

The ACO manages what we call ‘frequency’ — in other words, the number of procedures to be done. Specialists are involved in satisfaction, quality scores, and resource consumption once the decision is made that the procedure needs to be done.

We expect the specialists to be involved with quality and performance. Everybody is putting in incentive programs to help drive higher quality, better performance, and a lower cost.

HIN: Hospitals have tightened the patient discharge process as a means of shoring up care transitions. But what other work needs to be done in terms of collaborations, perhaps with skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), long-term care and home health, for example, to improve patient handoffs and reduce hospital readmissions?

(Steven Valentine): Handoffs have probably been one of the areas where we’ve seen the most disappointment or underperformance within many ACOs. They have not effectively involved the hospitalists and the care/case managers who are typically embedded within the medical group that would oversee the patient throughout the care continuum. Or if it’s a health system, emanate centralized care/case management function where they manage all of the transitions from pre-acute, acute to post-acute. We think this will get better. As the doctors are more at risk, they will get more engaged with the care/case managers to manage these transitions and handoffs.

We also know that, while not in 2014 but the trend will start, we’ll see lower acute care utilization, pushing more patients to post-acute care. This means, in any given area, acute care hospitals will begin to convert excess capacity to post-acute care services like skilled nursing, long-term care, palliative care, hospice care, home care and rehab care. You will begin to see a closer proximity. The care managers will be able to work more effectively with the doctors and hospitals to manage the patient through the continuum, smooth out these transitions and have a better patient experience with better satisfaction scores at a lower cost.

Excerpted from: Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2014: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry

3 2014 Trends for Health Plans

January 21st, 2014 by Jessica Fornarotto

Influencing primary care, aggregating and mining data, and embracing bundled or episode-based payments are three trends that will influence health plans in 2014, predicts Catherine Sreckovich, managing director in the healthcare practice at Navigant Consulting.

HIN interviewed Sreckovich on these trends prior to her presentation during HIN’s tenth annual webinar on Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2014: A Strategic Planning Session.

HIN: Where will data analytics take health plans in the coming year, and how will this shape population health management offerings?

(Catherine Sreckovich): We’re certainly hearing a lot about big data, and it will be an integral approach to merging this practice’s or population’s health, the ability to aggregate and mine data is going to be an essential capability for health plans for their predictive models. And the outputs of these models are going to enable the health plans to identify and stratify their members or population health. Member and patient demographics can also inform consumer engagement strategies to support population health. And the analytics are going to inform the effectiveness of different care management interventions and consumer engagement strategies.

HIN: Health plan case managers embedded alongside providers has become almost a de facto model. How will payors influence primary care delivery in the year to come?

(Catherine Sreckovich): There is a number of approaches evolving right now and that will continue to evolve as payors attempt to influence primary care delivery. One is the use of patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and other integrated models to expand the payor’s role as the primary care case manager.

In addition to paying primary care providers to hire case managers and care coordinators, payors are pushing for shared savings arrangements with these primary care providers, such as within an accountable care organization (ACO), and to push them to manage the care for those with chronic conditions.

We’re also seeing payors paying for primary care physicians to become certified PCMHs and to implement electronic health records (EHRs), either by paying directly for the certification of the technology or by adding bonus payments to their FFS rates.

Payors are also paying for incentives for primary care physicians to offer wellness programs such as smoking cessation or weight loss programs and are trying very hard to influence where and to whom primary care physicians refer their patients by giving them information about the cost and quality of other provider types, such as specialists and hospitals.

And we will continue to see that payors will target the larger primary care physician practices with whom they have a critical mass of members to achieve enough savings to offset the added costs of incentives, bonuses and shared savings arrangements. As a result, we expect that some of the smaller primary care practices will likely not receive the same level of support and push from payors.

In another example, we see payors increasingly partnering with non-traditional providers, such as retail-based clinics and community health centers to offer easily accessible primary care at lower costs. And this will certainly be an opportunity to address some of the physician supply shortages that we anticipate seeing in the next year or so as more and more people have access to healthcare insurance and coverage.

Finally, another approach payors are using is to offer members access to virtual doctor visits via webcam, for example, and other telemedicine approaches that are giving individuals access to these primary care providers to increase access to convenient and low cost primary care for their patients.

HIN: CMS and top-performing Pioneer ACOs are heavily invested in bundled or episode-based payments. Will more private payors embrace this reimbursement method as well?

(Catherine Sreckovich): Definitely. The bundled or episodic-based payment approaches are here to stay. We’re starting to see this take off in a number of states. For example, there are state innovation grants that CMS has provided to states like Arkansas, Ohio, Delaware and others looking for opportunities to implement multi-payor bundled payment initiatives. Although these are not necessarily the traditional ACO model, they built off of that ACO model.

We also see that the large health plans in various states are starting to build and develop ACOs. Key to these are the shared savings arrangements that they’re implementing with these payment approaches. So whether they’re bundled or episodic-based payments or whether they look more like a traditional ACO, if there is such a thing, we’re starting to see takeoffs on those kinds of models as payors and health plans become more creative in the development of their alternatives.

Excerpted from: Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2014: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry

Infographic: The Doctor Shortage

January 7th, 2014 by Jackie Lyons

A recent report from the American Academy of Family Physicians estimates 52,000 new physicians will be necessary by 2025 to keep up with growing healthcare demands.

Population growth, aging populations and increased access to healthcare are among the reasons for the increased need for more physicians, according to a new infographic from Soliant Health. This infographic also details the particular shortage in primary care, potential solutions to the increased demand and more.

The Doctor Shortage

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Case Studies in Comprehensive Primary Care: Guidance from Group Health Cooperative and Geisinger Health System.

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Infographic: Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

December 12th, 2013 by Jackie Lyons

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of people are gaining health coverage and access to healthcare. However, there may be a shortage of doctors to treat these patients in many parts of the United States, suggests a new infographic from the Commonwealth Fund.

For example, the infographic shows the number of primary care physicians in several counties in Texas, ranging from 83 residents per one PCP in one county to 14,081 residents per PCP in another. Thirty-five Texas counties have more than 3,000 resident per primary care provider.

Top Public Health Risks

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You may also be interested in this related resource: 7 Value-Based Priorities for Healthcare’s Smart Money.

How Taconic IPA Embedded Case Managers Risk-Stratify High-Risk, High-Cost Patients

November 5th, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto

Using a self-developed approach that combines elements of Geisinger’s Proven Health® Navigator, Johns Hopkins Guided Care Nursing and the Wagner Chronic Care Model, Taconic Professional Resources is assisting physician practices in the New York Hudson Valley to improve population health and care for their sickest patients through the use of embedded RN case managers.

During HIN’s webinar on Improving Population Health With Embedded Case Managers in an Open, Multi-Payor Community, Annette Watson, senior vice president of community transformation for Taconic, described how case managers identify high-risk, high-cost patients.

How does a case manager go in and identify who is high-risk or who is high-cost? You can do it a number of ways, and they can be formal and informal. You can use internal sources and when we do go in, that’s one of the baselines you have to understand. Who are the patients and what is the population? If they have not been using data or have not been in an Advanced Primary Care initiative, it’s highly unlikely that a practice has a quantitative method in place when we arrive.

We begin by asking the practice providers who are the sickest patients? We can then use data that’s available at the practice level, such as registries or reports, that can be run from the EHR. We also look at what kind of data they’re getting from external sources. Are they getting reports from payors that perhaps show some utilization activity?

One thing about many of those reports is that they may be somewhat aged. They’re not necessarily timely, which creates actionable questionability. But we’re finding more and more reports about recent ER use or discharges from payors that are more and more timely that allow the practices to look at data retrospectively in most cases, but much more quickly than they were getting in the past.

And when it comes to hospital admission and discharge information, many times in a primary care practice depending on the model, if they are not the admitting physician, whether it’s a specialist or a hospitalist or someone that comes through the ER, it’s not a given. People think they know about their patients being in the hospital. They don’t always, and that is a challenge and a workflow implementation that we often spend a lot of time on when we get into a practice — how to get the timely information about admissions and discharges.

We also implement new processes in the practice to formally assess the risk of patients using validated tools. In the Hudson Valley, the tool that was easily adopted and modified in a variety of EHR’s is from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). This tool allows for a quantifiable way to put a risk level on every patient in a practice who is seen, and it changes over time. It’s the kind of tool that when a case manager goes into a practice, we look at risk stratification as an important characteristic of identifying those patients and managing those patients over time.

Infographic: Improving Primary Care by Expanding the Role of Pharmacists

December 17th, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

By expanding the role of pharmacists in primary care, the University of Southern California projects savings of up to $31.7 million dollars over three years.

In an infographic on the intervention, USC, which received a $12 million CMS Healthcare Innovation Award, describes the intervention protocol and the grant timeline.

Improving Primary Care by Expanding the Role of Pharmacists

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