Donor Spotlight on Premier Medical Associates

Premier Medical Associates

Premier Medical Associates (PMA) was founded in 1993 in Monroeville, PA, and currently is composed of 100 providers in 10 different office locations serving more than 100,000 patients. They are the largest multispecialty physician practice in their region. True to their name, they have “premiered” a model of care that achieves the Triple Aims of patient satisfaction, improved population health, and reduced costs. Read on to see how this medical group is leaving their footprint on the path to value based care.

AMGA Foundation: Premier Medical Associates has been one of our most active participants, most recently joining the Cardiovascular Disease cohort of the Together 2 Goal Innovator Track. Why is it critical for AMGA Foundation to collaborate with member groups to define best practices for these subgroups of patients with type 2 diabetes?

DeRubeis: The impact of finding best practices is significant because of the large number of people affected by this condition.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the population in the United States affected by Type 2 diabetes is twenty-nine million.  Studies show that seven in ten people with diabetes age 65 and above die from some form of heart disease.  Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.  Diabetes is one in seven major controllable risk factors for Cardio-vascular disease. 

AMGA Foundation: What do you see as PMA’s largest accomplishment in terms of improved patient outcomes in the past few years? How did participating in AMGA Foundation’s programs contribute to this success? 

DeRubeis: The largest accomplishment at Premier is the ability of the entire practice to increase blood pressure rates from 62% to 80% from 2013 to 2015 when PMA was participating in the Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign®.  This was one of the first large population health programs that Premier implemented.   The evidence based planks followed for that campaign were provided by AMGA.  To track whether the effort was successful, performance was communicated transparently to all providers for the first time.  Many of the successes from this program were used to approach other AMGA quality programs, such as heart failure, adult immunization and Together 2 Goal®.  By participating in these programs, PMA discovered creative ways to motivate providers and care team members to engage in various activities.  The activities drove teamwork, shared accountability and created an elevated level of collaboration within our practices.

AMGA Foundation: The Foundation’s strategic vision, Vision 2025, outlines four distinct pathways leading to improved health for 100,000,000 patients by 2025:

  • Advancing Best Practices through Chronic Disease Collaboration
  • Developing Community Research and Partnerships
  • Engaging Patients and Families
  • Innovating New Care Models and Synergies

How do these pathways align with PMA’s current focus and vision for the future?

DeRubeis: Premier will continue to be active participants in future programs aimed at implementing best practices with strategies that provide better outcomes for our patients.  AMGA represents a collaborative group of successful healthcare organizations that are paving the path to the future of healthcare and value based medicine.  Sharing knowledge within this forum adds insight and the ability to work as a team to weigh different approaches to position our organization to be a high performing health system providing patient-centered care in Western Pennsylvania. 

Clinical leaders realize that patients and families who engage in the management of diseases often have better outcomes.  Any opportunity to connect with the community to raise awareness and influence active participation in community members’ care only increases our opportunity to be successful in getting people to live healthier lives.  Premier recently is teaming with the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program to assist patients with prediabetes and reduce the risk that they will develop over diabetes. 

Premier has invested in support resources throughout the organization to support quality initiatives and to focus on the needs of patients faced with chronic disease.  Nurse navigators in PMA primary care offices coordinate care and provide education and follow up for patients.   A Quality Coordinator of Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services conducts educational sessions for patients and their families on a regular basis.   Two clinical pharmacists monitor medication management across the organization.  Likewise, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker provides resources to our patients and family members who require such support.  The overarching goal is to continue to provide the tools and resources needed to support initiatives and organizational goals that improve the outcomes for patients. 

AMGA Foundation: Why do you think that AMGA Foundation, with its members, is well positioned to advance innovative care models that can help correct the trajectory of chronic disease in America?

DeRubeis: AMGA’s membership is composed of groups that employ 175,000 physicians collectively, who provide care to one in three Americans.  The Foundation activities allow for these high performing systems of care to share best practices based on quantitative data.  The members of AMGA are front-runners in value-based medicine and are committed to the evolution of healthcare as the dynamics of the industry change and as tools continue to advance technologically. AMGA has always been a successful leader at refocusing organizations and driving best practices across the nation.