Patient-Centered Care Is Coming, But Are You Ready?

The path to a better healthcare system starts with primary care. Changing how care is organized and delivered among primary care settings has the potential to transform the entire healthcare system. As physician groups face mounting pressures to produce accessible, high-quality care at lower costs, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is emerging as a primary vehicle for care delivery transformation. We are increasingly finding the PCMH model embedded in accountable care organizations (ACOs), clinically integrated networks (CINs), and population health management initiatives. But as critical as the PCMH model has become to redesigning care delivery, not everyone is ready for patient-centered care. With that in mind, we have developed a quantitative and qualitative PCMH Readiness Assessment Methodology that reviews an organization’s ability to successfully operate and sustain a PCMH. This tool is designed to leverage existing strengths, address operational weaknesses, and identify resources to invest in key capabilities. Continue reading

ACOs – Is an EHR Enough?

Accountable Care Organization

Since its inception in 2009 as a key piece of the Affordable Care Act, the goals of the accountable care organization (ACO) have been clear: provide timely, coordinated care; manage at-risk populations; and eliminate redundancy across the continuum. But while the goals may be straightforward, the best ways to implement an ACO are not. Continue reading

Circumventing the PCP Shortage

The warnings have been pretty clear – demand for primary care physicians (PCPs) dwarfs supply, and will do so increasingly into the next decade. Further, the physician deficit comes at a time when primary care is playing a much bigger role in population health management and more people are gaining access to health coverage. Clearly, this presents significant implications for health systems seeking to enhance their primary care networks. So what’s the solution? Here are five strategies systems are employing to circumvent the PCP shortage. Continue reading

Five Steps for Developing Comanagement Arrangements

Hospitals and physicians are increasingly buying into the buzz around comanagement strategies.  But before you dive headfirst into comanagement, it’s important to know how to navigate these relatively uncharted waters.  Most comanagement arrangements have only recently been developed, adopted, and implemented.  Therefore, healthcare executives and physicians generally lack the experience and insight to fully understand the complexities involved in comanagement development.  The lack of a clearly articulated plan and path can quickly derail efforts or lead to difficulties down the road.  Based on our experience helping health systems and physicians successfully design and implement comanagement agreements, there are five crucial steps. Continue reading

Four Key Components of Comanagement Arrangements

Comanagement strategies are growing more prevalent as hospitals and physicians seek to strengthen alignment. Yet many physicians and health system administrators lack a complete understanding of the essential structures and components for the development of these agreements. Although the specific details of comanagement agreements differ widely across hospitals and specialties, effective agreements will include and address four key components, as discussed here. Continue reading