2018 Acclaim Award Honoree

Ballad Health (formerly Wellmont Medical Associates)
Health Elevated: Reaching New Heights in Health Care


Ballad Health (formerly Wellmont Medical Associates), also a 2014 Acclaim Honoree, has 250 providers with 135 physicians and a combined leadership team of nine corporate and 16 regional administrative staff. Their region, which consists of urban and rural communities in the Appalachian Mountain area, is an area with a 17.5% poverty rate, a mean family income of $27,000 and a ranking as the third least healthy area in the United States (Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index: April, 2013). Simply delivering meaningful health care is a challenge. However, improving regional health care is a calling the group believes is the key to improving the overall regional economic dynamic.

Believing quality is a strategic imperative, the medical group has incorporated the AMGA’s High-Performing Health System Attributes into their multispecialty practice in the following ways:


  • Ballad Health implemented the dyad partnership style of leadership. The best care is delivered by groups who are physician-led and professionally managed. This innovative style represents an overlapping, yet distinctive leadership by physicians and administrators providing specific attention to an entire plan of care.

Care Coordination

  • For maximum patient benefit, Ballad Health provides transitional care and chronic care management for patients. Sixteen registered nurses, practicing to the highest level of their license, manage appointments and resources and coordinate care for these patients with chronic care needs using live EMR feeds.

Compensation Practices

  • Ten percent of provider reimbursement is at risk, using three “buckets” of measures: care sustainability, care outcomes and care management. All metrics are re-evaluated yearly by the Quality, Value, and Safety Committee.

Efficient Provision of Services

  • Ballad Health developed the ability to perform retinal screenings for patients with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in primary care and endocrinology offices.

Organized System of Care

  • Because not all care requires a visit after hours, Ballad Health operates its own call center fully staffed by registered nurses who use evidence-based triage protocols to meet many patient needs. All care is integrated and coordinated via the EMR.

Quality Measurement and Improvement Activities

  • Transparent internal reporting is conducted in real time using the Advisory Board’s Crimson Medical Group Advantage tool. Each provider has an individual quality review biannually to ensure all standards are being met and to provide education or corrective action plans if needed to codify compliance. Ballad Health has also received national recognition for its performance on blood pressure and diabetes management via the Measure Up/ Pressure Down and Together 2 Goal programs, respectively.

Information Technology and Evidence-Based Medicine

  • Ballad Health implemented a one patient/one record platform and is active in implementing E-technologies for our patients’ benefit. This technology can create patient registries that encompass disease states, preventive measures, insurer metrics and population management tools. They can actively and in real time close gaps in care when a patent is seen or note when the patient is due for preventive services.