In January 2015, Health and Human Services / CMS released ambitious goals to incorporate quality, cost, and value into almost all of their payments in the next few years. Additionally, they have created a national collaborative of stakeholders including patients, employers, insurers, doctors, hospitals, and health systems called the HealthCare Payment Learning Action Network (HCPLAN) which is designed to promote these changes throughout all public and private insurers as well.
Avera Medical Group (AMG) is an active member of the HCPLAN as well as a strong supporter of the national quality strategy and believes everyone should have access to high-quality, affordable health care - healthcare that is designed to produce the best possible outcomes for our patients - and healthcare that is responsive to the needs of our community.
AMG’s longstanding commitment to quality and patient safety is ongoing and multidimensional, encompassing the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, treatment of disease and illness, and restoration of function.
To ensure that our care reflects established best practices, our clinical teams use defined evidence-based medicine and participate in voluntary quality-reporting programs. Our quality projects aim to prevent adverse events, to guarantee patient- and family-centered care and to eliminate inefficiency.
Avera Medical Group tracks and reports many measures that help stakeholders judge the safety and quality of our care. We have been very successful compared to national trends.
- Successfully submitted Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) data for over 850 providers. Overall, we were able to beat national averages for quality while remaining less expensive than expected. Specific provider results will be publically available on PhysicianCompare.gov
- Achieved Stage I or Stage II Meaningful Use compliance for 339 out of 345 eligible providers (98%) as compared to an average of only 42% successful compliance with Stage II nationally.
Service Line Development
Physicians from across Avera are coming together like never before to develop clinical service lines that look at developing & delivering services consistently across locations. Stronger relationships between physicians, within and across specialties, create better transitions of care from one location to another and from one specialty to another. The primary focus of these service lines is to place a greater emphasis on quality and coordination of care. Many patients start their care journey in one location and continue their journey at another; by taking a broader approach, these transitions happen more smoothly and make even greater quality outcomes possible.
This higher and more consistent level of quality is achieved in part by utilizing evidence based best-practice protocols consistently across locations. These unique attributes put together, create a better care environment and care experience for patients and families overall; which we call our brand promise. Clinical Service Lines are developed in the following areas: Behavioral Health, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Primary Care, Oncology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nephrology, Hospitalist, and Cardiology.
Through our brand promise to you, we promise to deliver the best care possible using the latest medical evidence and care techniques. Expect more from your health care —expect the best—in every location, every time.
Avera Coordinated Care
Over 1000 patients across Avera Medical Group have received additional support in achieving optimal clinical outcomes through participation in the Avera Coordinated Care program. This physician-led program offers a team approach to the delivery of health care services.
A RN Care Coordinator, Clinical Care Specialist, and Social Worker, work alongside the primary care teams within the clinic setting to provide additional support to patients facing catastrophic and chronic health conditions. Under the direction of the primary care physician, the Coordinated Care team works with the patient to identify their personal barriers to successful clinical outcomes and helps them to develop a plan to achieve their personal goals for a healthy life-style and highest quality of life possible.
One patient states, “I have my life back. I couldn’t have done this without the support from my Coordinated Care team”.
The Avera Coordinated Care Model
A Patient-Centered Approach to Health Care Delivery
The Avera Coordinated Care Footprint
Avera LIGHT Program
Avera LIGHT Program
In summer 2014 Avera Medical Group launched the LIGHT Program, an ongoing initiative designed to provide physicians and advanced practice providers with tools, strategies and support to minimize stress and enhance work-life balance. LIGHT, which stands for Live, Improve, Grow, Heal and Treat, offers many strategies to help prevent or reduce burnout.
Physician burnout is an escalating concern. According to Medscape’s Physician Lifestyle Report 2015, the number of physicians experiencing burnout has increased by 16 percent in the past two years. Now, 46 percent of all physicians report burnout. Avera is on the cutting edge of providing wellness solutions through the LIGHT Program. The program’s Medical Director is Jill Kruse, DO, and the Program Director is Mary Wolf, MS, LPC-MH, Avera EAP Director.
Recent projects and initiatives include:
- Burnout-proof training sessions, hosted by Dr. Dike Drummond, were held at sites across Avera in summer 2014.
- The LIGHT Program hosted a three-part series of The Physician’s Last Prep: A Fulfilling Retirement, a retirement event designed to address how to prepare for a meaningful, fulfilling retirement.
- The LIGHT Program has a confidential, provider-specific number that is available for free consultation. Call 605-322-HEAL.
- The program is working on videos and strategies for EMR usability.
- A burnout video resource series is available on the LIGHT Program website. Dr. Dike Drummond discusses signs of provider burnout, how the body and mind react to stress, and how to identify burnout and seek help.
- The LIGHT Program is establishing burnout prevention projects in each region, beginning in Brookings.
- Self-assessments and other resources are available on the LIGHT Program website on KnowledgeNet.
- Mary Wolf, Program Director, received Executive Coach Certification Training. The next goal is to train 15 physicians and advanced practice providers to become strategic peer coaches.