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:
"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.
"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, www.ghc.org under "Newsroom."
|SOURCE Group Health Cooperative|
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