Navigation Links
Group Health Cooperative Shows Investing in More Primary Care Pays for Itself

Medical home model leads to less emergency room costs and avoidable hospitalizations

SEATTLE, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An evaluation of recent innovations in delivering primary care at a Group Health Cooperative medical center shows significant success and rapid return on investment. The data led to a decision to invest in these best practices in all of Group Health's 26 medical centers by 2010.

"Group Health has for many years focused on delivering quality, coordinated primary care, supported by fully integrated electronic medical records," said Group Health President and CEO Scott Armstrong. "This was an effort to bolster primary care further -- and really test what we believe: that excellent, proactive primary care will lead to better health outcomes at lower cost."

"At a time when resources are tight, we are so confident in our findings that we are hiring more primary care doctors, physician assistants, and nurses, because we believe this is the best way to achieve our goal of excellent affordable care," Armstrong said.

In one year, Group Health's Patient-Centered Medical Home pilot, compared to controls:

  • Broke even on its primary care staffing investment through reduced downstream utilization costs. Emergency room/urgent care visits were 29 percent less and inpatient hospital stays for patients with conditions including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and asthma were 11 percent less.
  • Improved indicators of quality of care. Overall improvements were 1.6 times greater across 22 measures than in controls. In seven out of 22 measures, the proportion of people meeting their target went up by more than 5 percent over one year. One example is cholesterol management (LDL less than 100mg/dl) for people with heart disease.
  • Enhanced patients' experience, including better bonding between patients and their physicians and care teams as well as better care coordination.
  • Improved care teams' work satisfaction and reduced their emotional burnout.

"We saw these improvements in a system and a region that already compare well with the rest of the nation," Armstrong said. "Group Health and Washington state have relatively high-quality care and less overuse of hospitals. The pilot raised the bar even higher."

The Patient-Centered Medical Home pilot placed more emphasis on doctors and care teams proactively engaging patients in their health and investing more in care coordination. This resulted in more proactive phone visits, secure e-mailing, and more detailed face-to-face visits.

  • Physician panel sizes (the number of patients for whom each doctor is responsible) were reduced from 2,300 patients to 1,800 patients.
  • Appointment times were extended to 30 minutes, from 20 minutes.
  • Group Health increased its primary care staff by 30 percent to reduce physician-panel size and expand multidisciplinary clinical teams: doctors (family doctors and general internists), physician assistants, nurses, medical assistants, and clinical pharmacists.
  • Proactive staff-to-patient outreach increased, including clinical team analysis of each patient's needs, communication with the patient days before appointments, and detailed follow-up after it.
  • Use of e-health technology was maximized, including electronic medical records and increased contact with patients through secure e-mail and phone.
  • Decreased downstream utilization led to return on investment.

"These results lay the foundation for the initial return on investment to be extended in long-term cost savings well beyond the first year," said Michael Erikson, vice president for primary care administration. "We believe the reduction we saw in our care teams' burnout will result in less turnover and recruitment costs for physicians and other clinical staff -- perhaps up to $2 million dollars a year, across all recruiting areas for our primary care clinics," he added. "This addresses a fundamental area needed in health care reform to solve the shortage of primary care doctors: drawing physicians to get more opportunity to serve their patients' needs over many years."

Group Health Cooperative

Marking its 62nd year, Group Health Cooperative is an innovative, consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system that integrates care and coverage. Along with its subsidiary carriers, Group Health Options, Inc. and KPS Health Plans, Group Health works to improve the health of more than 602,000 plan members in Washington and Idaho.

More than 9,000 staff employed by Group Health and Group Health Permanente, its contracted, multispecialty group practice, provide patient-centered, evidence-based care to members and the broader community through medical centers, a charitable foundation, and a nationally recognized research center.

Please visit the virtual newsroom on our Web site, under "Newsroom."

SOURCE Group Health Cooperative
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Group Health Cooperative shows investing in more primary care pays for itself
2. Leading Healthcare Group Selects Varian Medical Systems to Supply Cancer Treatment Technology for Treatment Centers Across the Western United States
3. BurrellesLuce Executive to Speak on Measuring Communications Impact At Joint Seminar of Port-Industry Group and PRSA's Detroit Chapter
4. John Hancock Announces Enhancements to Group Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Products and Discount Program
5. A. M. Best Upgrades ProAssurance Group to A (Excellent)
6. Watson to Acquire Arrow Group
7. Linwood Group Research Suggests 3 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an Alcoholic Residential Centre
8. AGH Joins Select Group of Medical Centers in Study of Promising New Technology for Treatment of Heart Failure
9. Broncus Technologies Exhale Stent and Other New Devices to Prompt Robust Growth In Emphysema Treatment Market, According to Millennium Research Group
10. Backgrounder: As Obama Makes Pitch to AMA, the Group Tries to Call in its Political Investment in Congress
11. Tobacco Control Bill Heads to White House as Health Groups Cheer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... been recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, representatives ... of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered today ... African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- day ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... da Vinci surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough ... assisted da Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , the drug ... a new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in the making. ... individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative behaviors of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of Bird-X Incorporated, ... explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite heater business ... to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep people warm ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 ... kondigt de geplande investering aan van ten ... de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en ... aan de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... UTRECHT , Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... --> Een nieuwe aanpak combineert ... van gevorderde kanker. ... -->      (Photo: ... van het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders ... report to their offering. Boston ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: