2016 Acclaim Award Recipient
Premier Medical Associates
Creating Clarity Out of Chaos: A Nine-Year Journey to High-Performing Health
Practice leaders and physicians of Premier Medical Associates believe the fee-for-service model encourages overutilization of physician visits as well as unnecessary testing and hospitalizations. They recognized this care model is not sustainable, and in 2011 created a practice model that is well-suited to succeed in a value-driven payment system. During the transformation, they focused on providing care for underserved populations, offering a hardship program that provides financial assistance and free medical care to patients who require treatment for both acute and chronic conditions, but who cannot afford it due to unfortunate circumstances. They focused on providing high-value care to 2,200 patients in skilled nursing facilities and initiated a provider/nurse practitioner team who cares for more than 100 home-bound patients who would otherwise lack care. Premier has shifted its strategic vision of patient care to maximize quality through innovative care models. Highlights of their initiative include:
In the summer of 2013, all seven adult primary care offices were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home on the first attempt under 2011 guidelines. During the next year, the pediatric office also received the level 3 certification. The transformation from an acute care model to a chronic care model was now complete.
At Premier Medical Associates, colon cancer screening averages around 80 percent, pneumonia vaccine rates are over 85 percent for the elderly and 35 percent for high-risked adults, Zostavax vaccination rates are over 50 percent, tdap vaccine rates are over 50 percent, statin prescribing rates for diabetic patients are about 70 percent, and D4 control rates are about 50 percent.
In late 2013, the AMGA Foundation national campaign to address hypertension, Measure Up/Pressure Down® (MUPD) was launched, and Premier was an early participant. The campaign goal was for healthcare provider organizations to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients with their condition in control by 2016. Beginning with a 62 percent control rate in the first quarter of 2013, Premier ended with a control rate of 80 percent as of December 31, 2015. For their success in helping patients control high blood pressure, Premier was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts as a Hypertension Control Champion (among 30 public and private healthcare practices and systems across the country).
In 2015, they ran a pilot project with Exact Sciences for their FIT-DNA test called Cologuard. As part of the pilot, they identified approximately 500 practice patients with insurance coverage from either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans who had refused to be screened for colon cancer. By their calculations, 80 percent of their patients had been screened by December 31, 2015. More than 4,800 additional practice patients were screened as a result of these efforts between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015. Premier was recognized as an honoree for this year’s “80% by 2018” National Achievement Awards by The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.
Premier participated in a project focused on completion rates for Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs). These visits have been instrumental in helping them to attain high gap-closure rates on a number of measured quality metrics. They completed AWVs on nearly 70 percent of their Medicare patients in 2015.