Danielle F. Casanova, M.B.A.
(703) 838-0033, ext. 347

November 13, 2014

AMGA Presents 2014 AMGA Acclaim Award to Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group
Two Additional Groups Honored for Progress toward Achieving IOM Aims and Becoming High-Performing Health Systems

NEW ORLEANS, LA —The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) today presented the 2014 AMGA Acclaim Award to Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group for an innovative and integrated method to drive population health using a collaborative, team-based approach.   The award, granted through AMGA’s philanthropic arm, the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), was presented at AMGA’s Institute for Quality Leadership Annual Conference, being held November 11-14, 2014 at the New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, Louisiana.

In their award-winning application, titled The Reality of Becoming a High-Performing Health System™, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group described their process to create a more nimble organization embracing the constant need for change and growth to deliver greater value to patients.  They have undergone a transformation to a team-based, accountable delivery system that continuously improves the quality of care, patient experience, and overall cost-effectiveness.  Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group created a Care Redesign 2020 model that outlines the growth and changes required to serve not only their patients, but also their staff and physicians. The model includes specific goals and measurements in each of these areas:

  1. Clinical practice redesign
  2. Dedicated care coordination staff
  3. Physician and staff communication skills
  4. Health IT linkage including tele-health
  5. Clinical community linkage

Innovation drove progress toward becoming a High-Performing Health System™ helping Sharp Rees-Stealy to achieve the following:

  • Top-performing medical group status in California for 10 years in a row
  • CMS Medicare 5 star performance on “all cause” readmission reductions
  • High patient engagement rates up to 47% for its Population Health Programs
  • Overall rating of care composite score on patient experience  above  California’s 90th percentile (CG-CAHPS)
  • Demonstrable reduction in burden of complications of heart disease by 22% and stroke by 11%

Dr. Donald Balfour, president and medical director at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, accepted the award on behalf of his group from AMGF Chair Dr. Ronald H. Kirkland, past chairman of the board of The Jackson Clinic.

Two additional groups were presented awards as Acclaim Award Honorees:

HealthTexas Provider Network (HealthTexas) has experienced tremendous growth and has made significant achievements in contributing to the transformation of the healthcare delivery system. Over the past two years, the medical group has engaged in implementing population health strategies prompting their hospital system, physicians, and other stakeholders throughout the care continuum to collaboratively and accountably engage in patient-centric models of care and deliver “right care at the right place at the right time and at the right cost.”  Some of their improvements include:

  • Developed the infrastructure necessary to support population health strategies that included finalizing a substantial investment in data analytic tools, expanding care coordination, and further enhancing patient-centered medical home initiatives in their practices
  • Enhanced, in collaboration with the Baylor Scott & White Health, over 90 clinical processes that are expected to lead to approximately $40 million in healthcare cost savings this year
  • Established over 90 protocols and metrics to ensure their patients receive quality care that is consistent with evidence-based medicine  (For instance, by adopting the Measure Up/Pressure Down™ campaign guidelines coupled with the development of a hypertension protocol, HealthTexas has reached an average 86.6% of patients in control of their high blood pressure over the past three years.)
  • Reduced ED utilization and inpatient admission rates equating to approximately $2 million in savings over a two-year period through comprehensive care coordination, protocol-driven disease management, and proactive outreach for preventative health services

Dr. David Winter, chairman, president, and chief clinical officer; Dr. Michael Massey, chief medical officer; Sarah Gahm, chief administrative officer; and Cindy DeCoursin, chief operating officer, accepted the honoree award on behalf of HealthTexas.

Wellmont Medical Associates embarked in a new vision for rapid change in 2010. They established an elected medical group board of directors, three dyad administrative positions, and finance and quality committees; focused on integration as they achieved NCQA PCMH level 3 certification; started transitional care management and prepared to become a regional ACO; and began to see successes with risk-based contracting. As a result of their efforts, the organization:

  • Implemented a goal with a managed care plan to perform comprehensive health screenings on their managed care population over 65 years of age and closed the year at the 80th percentile (the goal had been 55th)
  • Have an overall readmission rate of less than 11%
  • Demonstrated that they had 205 acute inpatient admits per 1,000 with a readmission rate of 5.17% for one of their Medicare Advantage contracts
  • Have a high-risk medications prescription rate (Beers criteria) of less than 5%, putting them in the highest percentile for safe prescribing
  • Met a 95% target for access to primary care (exceeding Medicare Advantage target of 85%)

Dr. Stephen Combs, senior vice president for physician and clinical integration and chief executive medical officer; and Gail Williams, director of quality and patient care continuity, accepted the honoree award on behalf of Wellmont Medical Associates.

“These organizations led efforts to improve their ability to provide patients the health care they need, want, and deserve,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., AMGA’s president and chief executive officer and AMGF Board secretary.  “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.

“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,” continued 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.”

About the Acclaim Award
AMGA’s prestigious Acclaim Award honors organizations that are meeting the IOM Aims for Improvement and are taking the necessary steps to become a High-Performing Health System™ as defined by the AMGA.  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.

The Acclaim Award’s mission is to honor the nation’s premier healthcare delivery organizations that are high performing and are bring their organization closer to the ideal medical group and health system by:

  • Measurably improving the quality and value of care
  • Improving patient experience and outcomes
  • Continuously learning and innovating
  • Improving population health

Applicant criteria, structured around the six IOM Aims for Improvement and AMGA’s High-Performing Health System™ attributes, place a heavy emphasis on leadership involvement.  Applicants are asked to measurably demonstrate progress toward achieving the six aims, becoming a High-Performing Health System™, and transforming their organizations to provide health care that is consistent with those attributes. AMGA looks for medical groups 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.

About AMGF
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.

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) represents some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 150,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.