Danielle Casanova, MBA
(703) 838-0033 ext. 347

28 August 2012

HealthPartners Medical Groups and Clinics Receives 2012 AMGA Acclaim Award
Three Additional Groups Honored for Progress in Achieving IOM Aims

ALEXANDRIA, VA-The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) today announced that the recipient of the 2012 AMGA Acclaim Award is HealthPartners for "Triple Aim 2.0: Designing Culture to Support Better Health, Better Experience at a Lower Cost," an inventive and patient-centered approach to align the Institute of Medicine's Aims to identify and drive performance improvement, innovation, and culture throughout the organization. The award, granted through AMGA's philanthropic arm, the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), will be presented at AMGA's Institute for Quality Leadership Annual Conference, being held October 3-5, 2012 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Conference Center, National Harbor, Maryland.

In the award-winning initiative, HealthPartners has exhibited, through the alignment with the Institute of Medicine's Six Aims, that they have built a culture that supports innovation and improvement through a process of proactively identifying improvement opportunities. The organization began this journey by identifying priorities using internal and external quality benchmarks, experience outcome measures, utilization metrics, and total cost metrics. The implementation plan was devised by a team who structures innovation around the organization's design principles of reliability, customization, access, and coordination. This proactive, intentional work has led to great results in the organization. By transparently sharing health, experience, and cost metrics, HealthPartners has led innovation that has positively impacted health care for every patient in their community. HealthPartners has developed an approach and culture to improve both clinical quality and patient satisfaction in ways that engage employees in the process, making the organization a great place to work and a great place for patients to receive care.

Three additional groups were announced as Acclaim Award Honorees:

  • HealthTexas Provider Network's "Transforming Healthcare Delivery Through Patient-Centered, Value-Based, Quality Care" initiative centers on their clinical transformation strategy implemented in conjunction with Baylor Health Care System (BHCS). As a highly integrated unit, HealthTexas Provider Network and BHCS share the same goals and set joint strategies reflecting both ambulatory and inpatient needs. Using the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Six Aims for Improvement as their guide, HealthTexas Provider Network has achieved remarkable progress in developing and implementing effective quality improvement initiatives across all STEEEP metrics ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care that is Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable, and Patient-Centered. This innovative alliance between a high-performing medical group, HealthTexas Provider Network, and a hospital system demonstrates that physicians and hospitals can work together effectively in bringing the healthcare system closer to the ideal delivery model.
  • North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP) demonstrated a commitment to rapidly increase implementation of electronic health records among their physician practices and develop a community-based health information exchange through its "Stepping Beyond EMRs to Advance Care and Increase Savings" initiative. NTSP's physicians understood that better clinical decisions can be made if more information was available at the point of care. This included real-time patient clinical information from multiple sources and evidence-based decision support tools. In 2006 NTSP created a health information exchange, SandlotConnect, which uses web-based applications to gather data from all points of care across the community and directs it into a centralized data repository so it can be accessed by all sites of care as needed. Since the launch of SandlotConnect, NTSP physicians have been able to offer more integrated care to more than 2.5 million patients across 7 counties, while assimilating data from 12 hospitals, 1,700 physician offices, half of all radiology and lab services in the market, 100+ pharmacies, and 350+ interoperable electronic health records across 4 platforms. In creating the HIE, the group practice addressed all six core aims being targeted by the Institute of Medicine.
  • Driven by a mission to help every patient live better, TriHealth transformed a culture of episodic care into one of population health management. First, the Cincinnati-based health system became a regional leader in the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model by building an infrastructure of technology, process, and personnel. Next, TriHealth identified a gaping hole in the availability of patient population statistics, including demographics, health status, payor, and employer. To bridge that gap, TriHealth built a proprietary clinical data warehouse. This tool, in conjunction with PCMH principles, has shifted the paradigm toward population health by arming physicians and staff with comprehensive, reliable data. As Dr. Lorraine Stephens, chair of the Quality Improvement Committee, explains, "Our journey demonstrates the importance of aligning to a system-wide mission and vision, educating both patients and physicians, and merging information technology with clinical best practices."

"These organizations demonstrated a monumental leap forward in providing patients the health care they need, want, and deserve," said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., AMGA's president and chief executive officer and AMGF secretary and treasurer. "We salute the dedication of the organizations' leadership and healthcare providers in improving patient outcomes, efficiency, coordination, and organizational and clinical integration. Their ongoing efforts will ensure that their patients will receive quality, value-based care throughout their lives."

AMGA's prestigious Acclaim Award honors organizations that embrace the Institute of Medicine's aims by incorporating the six attributes of an ideal healthcare delivery system as identified by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. These organizations demonstrated that:

  • Clinically relevant patient information can be available to all providers at the point of care and to patients, preferably through electronic health record systems.
  • Patient care is coordinated among multiple providers, and transitions across care settings are actively managed.
  • All members of the care team both within and across settings have accountability to each other, review each other's work, and collaborate to reliably deliver high-quality, high-value care.
  • Patients have easy access to appropriate care, including after hours; there are multiple points of entry to the system; and providers are culturally competent and responsive to patients' needs.
  • There is clear accountability for the total care of patients.
  • The system is continuously innovating and learning.

The award highlights the continued research and investigation toward finding the finest models of medical management, coordination of care delivery, and a systemic approach to improving the patient experience. The recipient of the award receives a Steuben-designed crystal, produced specifically for the award, as well as national recognition. Honorees also are recognized and receive crystal awards.

Applicant criteria, structured around the six IOM Aims for the 21st Century, place a heavy emphasis on leadership involvement. Applicants are asked to measurably demonstrate progress toward achieving the six aims (safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable) and transforming their organizations to provide health care that is consistent with the aims. AMGA looks for medical groups and health systems that have made and documented system-wide changes to improve medical care for large numbers of the patients they serve, and, through the process, consistently improve organizational performance. Applicants are evaluated in a blinded review process conducted by nationally recognized leaders in healthcare quality.

"The groups honored with this award exemplify the best quality health care in the United States, and the efforts of multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care to provide the right care at the right time in the most efficient manner," said Fisher. "Coordinated, value-based care has been the hallmark of AMGA member groups, and programs like the Acclaim Award help these groups continue their innovative work and communicate their successes to the healthcare community to better serve their patients. It is our hope that medical groups throughout the country will learn about the work of these innovators and be inspired to implement similar programs in their medical groups."

The American Medical Group Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the AMGA. As a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization, its mission is to foster quality improvement in group practice through education and research programs in clinical quality, patient safety, service, operational efficiency, and innovation. In addition to research and demonstration projects, the Foundation helps support learning collaboratives and presents educational grants and awards to medical groups that demonstrate improvements in practice, quality, and patient care.

The American Medical Group Association represents medical groups, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to improve health care for patients by supporting multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care. The members of AMGA deliver health care to approximately 130 million patients in 49 states, more than one in three Americans. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for medical groups, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs and publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.