In an ambitious step toward the health care system of the future, Emory Healthcare Network has enlisted its primary care practices to transform the way they deliver health care. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is an innovative care model that actively empowers patients to achieve better health outcomes.
Like other health systems around the country, EHN is adapting to the trend of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, paying hospitals and doctors based on the value of the care they provide rather than the volume of services they render. Enhancing primary care services is a pillar of EHN’s strategy. Numerous studies around the country have demonstrated the potential of the PMCH to both improve quality and lower costs.
After a competitive bidding process, EHN chose to partner with the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (www.gafp.org) and Discern Health (www.discernhealth.com) to support the transformation. EHN is enrolling 10 primary care practices in GAFP’s PCMH University
The GAFP created its PCMH University in 2010 to help transform primary care practices to the PCMH model of care. As part of PCMH University, the primary care physicians and their practice teams will learn to:
- Work closely with patients who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, to help them manage their own conditions and prevent dangerous flare-ups
- Maintain a relationship with patients over time, not just when they are in the office, for comprehensive care from wellness visits to major illnesses
- Improve the availability of visits and of advice by telephone and secure messaging, so that patients do not have to seek care from providers who might not know them
- Involve everyone in the office in understanding and working with the patient, in a well-run care team
- Follow up with patients who do see specialists or have hospital admissions, to agree on a plan of care
- Use data to make decisions—data on the best evidence, data on success with their patients, data on how patients experience care—and continue to improve over time.
The first ten practices began the 14-month PCMH U process in February 2015. From there the process will expand to all 90+ primary care practices affiliated with Emory. To validate their accomplishments, the practices will seek PCMH recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which has recognized over 8,800 practices with over 50,000 physicians nationally and over 300 practices in Georgia with over 1,100 physicians. (http://recognition.ncqa.org/)
EHN PCMH University Class of 2015:
· Geriatrics at St. Joseph’s – Dr. Tom Price
· General Internal Medicine at St. Joseph’s – Dr. Dipak Vashi
· General Internal Medicine at Emory Midtown – Dr. Fred Turton
· General Internal Medicine at 1525 Clifton Rd. – Dr. David Propp
· Emory Clinic at Decatur – Dr. Nick Church
· Integrated mEmory Clinic – Dr. Janet Cellar
· Emory Specialty Associates at Sugarloaf – Dr. Drew Huber
· Emory Specialty Associates at Eagles Landing – Dr. Kennard Hood
· Internal Medicine of Newton – Dr. James Stillerman
· Newton Medical Associates – Dr. Kevin Lanclos