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CAFP: California Academy of Family Physicians Announces Services To Support Practices Transforming to Patient Centered Medical Homes

CAFP Contact: Catherine Direen | 415/595-7050 | cdireen@familydocs.org

JULY 18, 2013 | San Francisco, CA. | Family physicians interested in transforming their medical practices into Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) can now receive practice coaching and other resources from the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP). Across the health care marketplace, many believe that achieving high-value health care will be built on the foundation of a PCMH practice.

“The medical home model is the future of primary care,” said CAFP President Mark Dressner, MD.  “By proactively initiating preventive care, better coordinating all care, and working in teams of health professionals, we can improve patient outcomes while saving scarce health care dollars. We’ve developed these new services in response to a call from our members for assistance in transforming their practices into medical homes.”

Pilot Project Success Shapes Consulting Services

To validate the PCMH concept firsthand, CAFP partnered with a primary care medical group in Fresno, California. After the group received practice transformation coaching services and implemented processes to provide comprehensive and preventive care to patients with diabetes and heart disease, patients in the pilot saw significant improvements in their health, as evidenced by improvements in almost every health quality measure within the first six months. The self-insured employer that supported the pilot project attributed savings of more than $1.8 million dollars to the pilot. Based on this success, CAFP decided to provide medical home transformation support statewide.

As effectiveness of the PCMH model is repeatedly proven, “Family physicians are becoming increasingly interested in receiving assistance implementing the systems and process changes needed to redesign their practices,” Dr. Dressner said.  “This is a blueprint to provide the care they have always wanted to provide. CAFP is here to help facilitate these transformations with both in-office and web-based support.”

The effectiveness of health care delivery by primary care physician-led medical homes is well- documented. A June 2013 Commonwealth Fund report says that “U.S. adults who have a primary care physician have 33 percent lower health care costs and 19 percent lower odds of dying than those who see only a specialist. As a nation, we would save $67 billion each year if every patient had a primary care provider as their usual source of care.”

The report also says that “Patients with medical homes, who have access to 24/7 care, experienced 18 percent fewer hospitalizations, 36 percent fewer hospital readmissions, and 7 percent total medical cost savings.”

Health Care Payers Reward PCMH Practices

Because the benefits of a PCMH are substantial in terms of cost reduction, improvement in quality and a positive patient experience, several major health care payers are rewarding primary care practices structured as medical homes. The transformation process is challenging and often requires an upfront investment on the part of the primary care practice to realize the cost savings and value-based care.  Provisions in the Affordable Care Act and contracts with United Health Care, Wellpoint (Anthem Blue Cross) and Aetna all are recognizing PCMH practices nationally, with resulting payment differentials to help offset the investment required by physicians. The California Health and Human Services Agency is considering similar changes.  Additionally, the insurance exchange in California, Covered California, will require contracted plans to submit data on the percentage of in-network primary care practices that are recognized as medical homes at the start of a plan year.

CAFP Assists Family Medicine Practices in Becoming Medical Homes

To support its members, CAFP has formed two new partnerships – one with leading transformation consulting firm HealthTeamWorks, and one with the California Primary Care Association and Arcadia Solutions, also a leading health care consulting firm.

As health systems and practices feel the pressure of making significant changes quickly, those with large groups of practices can benefit from the proven methodology offered by CAFP and HealthTeamWorks.  This PCMH transformation program offers medical practice leaders:

  • Development and management of PCMH pilots or initiatives;
  • In-office quality improvement coaching  with specific tools, assessments, milestones and assistance in use of technology and techniques to demonstrate their existing and improved quality of care;
  • Family medicine residency program PCMH implementation;
  • Development of practice/community transformation coaching programs; and
  • Assistance with achieving National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognition.

CAFP, the California Primary Care Association and Arcadia offer individual physicians or practices:

  • The “Patient Centered Medical Home Accelerator Portal,” a web-based platform that combines the best of efficient technology, a library of PCMH documentation guides and hands-on clinical coaching to guide family physicians through the complex processes of practice transformation and NCQA recognition. The easy-to-use technology, combined with CPCA’s experienced in-office practice coaches, helps practice teams develop a “Transformation Roadmap” tailored to the practice, outlining the steps necessary to efficiently transform and achieve NCQA recognition.
  • Using the practice-specific “Transformation Roadmap” as a guide, the Arcadia Accelerator Portal  automatically tracks and reports practice progress in real time, providing visibility and allowing the team to stay on track;
  • In-office quality improvement coaching;
  • Support in the NCQA recognition process;
  • Pre-recorded learning modules from PCMH and clinical experts supporting implementation of the PCMH model; and
  • An online data management and analytics dashboard connected to practice EHR/EPM designed for practice reporting needs for a variety of quality and performance improvement programs.

“CAFP is a strong advocate for the PCMH model because of its immense benefits,” Dr. Dressner said. “We’ve designed these new consulting services to support family physicians in their efforts to move their practices to an even higher level of quality and cost-effectiveness.”

For more information, interested family physicians and staff members are encouraged to contact CAFP Manager of Medical Practice Affairs Jane Cho at 415/345-8667 or jcho@familydocs.org or Vice President for Health Policy Leah Newkirk at the same phone number or lnewkirk@familydocs.org.

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About the California Academy of Family Physicians: With more than 8,500 members, including actively practicing family physicians, residents in family medicine, and medical students interested in the specialty, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California. Family physicians are trained to treat an entire family’s medical needs, addressing the whole spectrum of life’s medical challenges. Family physicians serve a broad base of patients in urban, suburban and rural areas, often in California’s most underserved areas.

About HealthTeamWorks: HealthTeamWorks, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, multi-stakeholder collaborative working to redesign the healthcare delivery system and promote integrated communities of care, using evidence-based medicine and innovative systems. Our goals are to optimize health, improve quality and safety, reduce costs and improve the care experience for patients and their healthcare teams.

HealthTeamWorks has expertise developing evidence-based guidelines as the foundation of quality care, training practice coaches and consulting with organizations to transform their procedures and culture, and convening learning sessions. We help our partners plan, develop and implement continuous quality-improvement programs to improve healthcare delivery and hold down cost trends.

About Arcadia Solutions: Founded in 2002 and headquartered outside Boston, with offices in New York, Seattle, and Nashville, Arcadia Solutions is a nationally-recognized, leading healthcare transformation consulting firm that engages with both payers and providers to deliver healthcare technology and services. Arcadia provides services in EHR Outsourcing and Consulting; Data Integration and Population Analytics; and Care Delivery Transformation and Coaching. With a focus on both healthcare provider and payer solutions, Arcadia has a unique cross-industry perspective using data to drive healthcare transformation by improving quality and lowering cost through the right blend of people, processes, technology, and strategy. For more information, visit www.arcadiasolutions.com.

About the California Primary Care Association: The California Primary Care Association (CPCA) is the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California’s Community Clinics and Health Centers (CCHCs) and their patients. The association represents more than 900 not-for-profit CCHCs that provide comprehensive, quality health care services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and underserved Californians, who might otherwise not have access to health care. For more information about CPCA, please visit www.cpca.org.

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