Patients: Coordinated Physician Care Pilots – Paul Grundy MD, IBM

Dr. Paul Grundy helped organize
the Patient-Centered Primary Care
Collaborative at IBM and serves at its Chair. IBM spends about $1.7 billion a year on
healthcare for its employees and families,
providing coverage for half a million people. The company is working to improve their
healthcare quality, while lowering costs through wellness programs, but believes that more could be accomplished if a critical mass of key
healthcare participants work together to drive even more significant change. Executives believe the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative is a major step towards that goal.   

Many studies have shown that patients with a personal
physician who coordinates their comprehensive care have better outcomes
with lower costs.  We want to make this a reality for patients in the
US. So we joined with the four major primary care physicians’
professional societies, national employers and their associations, quality
advocacy groups, academic centers and consumer advocacy  groups to create the
Patient-Centered Primary Care
. The Collaborative is
advancing a new primary-care-based healthcare model called the \u003cu\>Patient-Centered Medical Home \n(PCMH)\u003c/u\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/a\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Times New Roman\” size\u003d\”3\”\>. We're also \nworking to \u003cbr\>restructure traditional reimbursement practices, which currently \nincent physician \u003cbr\>specialization. We want to support and reward the \ncomprehensive delivery of \u003cbr\>primary care and expand the role of primary care \nphysicians as patient care \u003cbr\>coordinators. \u003c/font\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”3\”\> \n\u003cbr\>\u003c/font\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Times New Roman\” size\u003d\”3\”\>\u003cbr\>Last week, we added to our \nmomentum. Aetna, BCBS Association, CIGNA, \u003cbr\>Humana, MVP Health Care, \nUnitedHealthcare, and WellPoint \u003c/font\>\u003ca href\u003d\”http://newsroom.cigna.com/article_display.cfm?article_id\u003d791\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Times New Roman\” color\u003d\”blue\” size\u003d\”3\”\>\u003cu\>announced\u003c/u\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/a\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Times New Roman\” size\u003d\”3\”\> they \u003cbr\>will support Medical Home pilot \ndemonstrations. \u003c/font\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”3\”\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/font\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Times New Roman\” size\u003d\”3\”\>\u003cbr\>Together, we want to start one or more pilots \nnext year. Stay tuned! \u003c/font\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”3\”\> \n\u003cbr\>\u003c/font\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”sans-serif\” size\u003d\”2\”\>\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>Steve\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>IBM Analyst & \nInfluencer Relations\u003cbr\>Phone 845-677-1017 t/l 320-8929\u003c/font\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”3\”\>\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>\u003cbr\>\u003c/font\>\n\u003ctable width\u003d\”100%\”\>\n \u003ctbody\>\n \u003ctr valign\u003d\”top\”\>\n \u003ctd width\u003d\”45%\”\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”sans-serif\” size\u003d\”1\”\>\u003cb\>"Matthew Holt" \n <\u003ca href\u003d\”mailto:matthew@matthewholt.net\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>matthew@matthewholt.net\u003c/a\>>\u003c/b\> \u003c/font\>\n \u003cp\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”sans-serif\” size\u003d\”1\”\>10/19/2007 07:48 PM\u003c/font\>\u003cfont size\u003d\”3\”\> \n \u003c/font\>\u003cbr\>\n \u003ctable width\u003d\”100%\” border\u003d\”4\”\>\n \u003ctbody\>\n \u003ctr valign\u003d\”top\”\>\n \u003ctd width\u003d\”100%\” bgcolor\u003d\”white\”\>\n \u003cdiv align\u003d\”center\”\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”sans-serif\” size\u003d\”1\”\>Please respond \n to\u003cbr\><\u003ca href\u003d\”mailto:matthew@matthewholt.net\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>”,1]
//–><span face="Times New Roman" Patient-Centered Medical Home
  We’re also
working to restructure traditional reimbursement practices, which currently
incent physician specialization.  We want to support and reward the
comprehensive delivery of primary care and expand the role of primary care
physicians as patient care  coordinators.   
Last week, we added to our
momentum.  Aetna, BCBS Association, CIGNA, Humana, MVP Health Care,
UnitedHealthcare, and WellPoint announced they will support Medical Home pilot
demonstrations.   Together, we want to start one or more pilots
next year.  Stay tuned!  

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5 replies »

  1. When one compares the U.S. health care system with those of other industrialized countries, one is led to the more specific conclusion that the two major problems in U.S. health care are the way we 1) fail to deliver comprehensive primary care and 2) the way primary care is financed. Our premise is that primary care is the only natural locus of control of health care quality and costs. It is the only entity that is charged with the longitudinal care of the patient. It is the only entity whose job it is to consider the whole patient, the health of the whole person, including mental and physical.
    Maryland Treatment Centers

  2. First and foremost — Patient Centered Primary Care is an effort to address the high cost/low value situation we find ourselves in as large employer buyers of care. Study after countless study shows that when a patient has a primary care physician that cares about them has and uses the tools to practice comprehensive care centered on the patient needs they get the care they need at a price we can afford. Let’s call that a Patient Centered Primary Care (PCPC) or Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).
    But we the buyers have been part of the problem (as Pogo said so long ago I see the enemy it is us) in not demanding systems of payment and practice organization that encourage and enable the comprehensive, patient-focused primary care we desire. There is no money paid for the necessary investments in teams and health information systems so essential to the delivery of comprehensive, cost-effective, patient-centered care. Current payment methods richly reward medical procedures and discourage spending time with patients in such essential activities as history taking, physical examination, diagnosis, planning treatment, counseling, coordination, and prevention. This must change.
    When one compares the U.S. health care system with those of other industrialized countries, one is led to the more specific conclusion that the two major problems in U.S. health care are the way we 1) fail to deliver comprehensive primary care and 2) the way primary care is financed. Our premise is that primary care is the only natural locus of control of health care quality and costs. It is the only entity that is charged with the longitudinal care of the patient. It is the only entity whose job it is to consider the whole patient, the health of the whole person, including mental and physical.
    As large employers our national focus on disease management programs is a good example of the failure of primary care and the failure of our efforts to improve care as a work around of the core problem and not face the real issue head on. If stand alone disease management programs are considered necessary today, it is because primary care is not doing its job. From a primary care perspective, the treatment of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, and asthma, with the right tools is basic and straightforward. The care of these conditions is simply not that difficult. However, the quality failures in the treatment of these conditions are well documented. Stand alone disease management programs which are not delivered at the point of care present a Band-Aid approach to problem solving. These kinds of work a rounds instead of addressing those problems directly, have in fact created additional, expensive, fragmented responses to the primary problem.
    For some reason, the healthcare industry and we as the buyer have demonstrated an inability to develop a sharp focus on solving core problems. We seem much more willing to create complicated responses to our problems than we are to fix the core problems of our delivery system. Again, disease management is a perfect example. If primary care is not delivering high quality care for those with chronic conditions, we can either find a way to work around primary care or we can find a way to fix it. Our willingness as large employers to “pay any price” for that episodic care which for example provides for a Diabetic amputation of a limb but our unwillingness to open our eyes and understand that the reason for the amputation was our failure to be willing to pay for the prevention and primary care.
    Although we tend to focus on the problems we face, there are reasons for a great deal of optimism-optimism due to the opportunities we have to improve and redesign care. Medical practice redesign is happening today. It is taking hold and has become a movement that is gaining momentum. We the large employers for the first time are at the table with the national health benefit companies and primary care professional societies. Let’s seize this opportunity and make the fundamental changes we have been asking for as large employers.
    While I would not argue that primary care should be all things to all people, it should be designed to achieve much higher performance than it achieves currently. Such a redesign of primary care is possible today. However, if primary care is not successful in its core tasks of prevention, wellness, and the care of common conditions including many chronic conditions, it will not be possible to control either quality or cost of care in the United States. Again, hospital care and Part-ecialty (specialty) care are crucial to health care, but their use is all too often the failure of upstream care. And look we have to start somewhere lets get really focused and address this lack of a foundation in are primary are delivery system and build onto a PCMH the better hospital and Part-ecialty we also need.
    For the first time in history, we have both the knowledge and the capabilities (if we work hand in hand with our primary care providers) to force together substantial change. We are at a unique time in the history. In five or ten years, we might well look back with amazement at the pace of the changes that are currently taking place. The route is clear: We know what to do. We know how to make the system better. The crucial question is whether we have the courage to take on this difficult solution. But are strength lies in the fact that the primary care physicians want to help us take this on a wholesale transformation at the Micro primary care practice level in exchange for payment reform at the Macro level.
    So how do we as large employers join the ranks of other systems like the VA and Denmark that have driven as much as 60% of the inefficiencies out of the system.
    In step lock with our partners, the primary care providers, lets make it clear to the healthcare benefit companies that we deal with that as an employer buyer it is no longer business as usual. Let also be counted on as employers to send the same message to the other large healthcare buyers Health and Human Services, CMS, Medicaid, Federal Employees, DOD TRICARE, the White House, Congress, State and local government and others.
    Demand of ourselves and our Healthcare benefit companies: Comprehensive, continuous, patient centered, personal and holistic primary care which is based on strong relationships between patients and their physician — this is foundational to good health. Practice and payment reform are the prescriptions for achieving it.

  3. Behavioral health care has been left out of this initiative. Since 60%-70% of all visits to primary care have no biological basis, this is an oversight. The current methods for managing behavioral health through tight supply side mechanisms drive, most people to traditional medicine. We have generated huge savings, freed MD time and the satisfaction scores from pts and MDs are over 97% by properly educating and implementing mental health professionals inside primary care.

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