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Community Physician Group recognized nationally, locally for improving value, quality

Community Physician Group recognized nationally, locally for improving value, quality

Population health can seem like a health care concept that still hasn’t found itself—it means something different to anyone asked. The Community Physician Group at University of Utah Health is firming up the concept, and its life changing impact on patients, through a community-based approach.

So far, they've worked through stakeholders to decrease emergency department use, manage 77% of crisis interventions without higher level of care, and triple the number of quality measures meeting their goal.

julie-dayJulie Day, MD, medical director for quality improvement and population health presented those outcomes and others at the Bridge to Population Health conference last month in San Francisco. It's an audience that Day enjoys engaging.

“Sharing the work we’ve done with different national audiences has been a privilege,” Day said. “Being part of that national movement validates we are on the right track. That we’re driving the conversation.”

The conference brings together experts from across the western United States. Besides Day, the conference included experts from Mayo Clinic, NYU Langone, and Walgreens. Attendees addressed the complicated task of moving from the traditional world of fee-for-service care to value-based care and population health.

The Community Physician Group, working with the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, takes a sweeping approach to determining who is in their patient population. They include any patient seen in the last 18 months, for a total of 130,000 patients. Those patients are cared for by 130 clinicians, across 11 clinics and 5 counties along the Wasatch Front. The intensive analysis was led by Annie Mervis, M.S.W., director of quality improvement and population health.

“Without this population health analysis, we wouldn’t know who we need to be reaching out to for overdue chronic and preventive care services, and who is at risk and may need additional support in managing their health conditions,” Mervis said.

annie-mervisA care management team is central to the Community Physician Group’s approach. The like-minded team includes nurses, clinical pharmacists, care managers, and social workers. The team groups patients according to their health needs. And they meet with providers once a month to review their patients. Paid time is carved out for providers to attend the conferences.

Mervis will present with Day at the upcoming American Medical Group Association annual meeting.

Health Insight Quality Award—A quality award that counts

quality-award-health-insightThe Community Physician Group was recently granted a high performance award by Health Insight. The non-profit, community-based health care organization is under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Their aim is to address quality improvement efforts for Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah.

The award recognizes primary care clinics above the 75th percentile on at least six clinical quality and/or patient experience measures. The following clinics were recognized, including clinics from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine:

  • Farmington Health Center
  • Greenwood Health Center
  • Madsen Family Health Center
  • Parkway Health Center
  • Redstone Health Center
  • Redwood Health Center
  • South Jordan Health Center
  • Stansbury Health Center
  • Sugar House Family Health Center
  • Westridge Health Center

Health Insight announced the awards at the September 2017 Utah Medical Association House of Delegates luncheon.