The Value Case for Advanced Illness Management
As providers take on population-based risks, they are looking to reduce costs across the continuum of care. What has been a  mission-based priority—ensuring the very ill and dying receive care that correlates with their wishes—has become a financial imperative as well.  

Shared Medical Appointments Improve Access, Quality, and Efficiency
Shared medical appointments have the potential to improve access to medical care and strengthen a healthcare organization’s bottom line. Each shared medical appointment at the UC San Diego Health System differs based on the nature of the patient population and physician preferences. For example, the HIV/AIDS sessions have multiple races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and age ranges in the room. “The diversity of the group represents my real-life practice,” says Amy Sitapati, MD.

In contrast, the diabetes appointments, led by Steven V. Edelman, MD, have taken the opposite approach. “In choosing people for the shared medical appointments, I looked at all my patients and I separated out those with Type 1 diabetics from those with Type 2 and separated men from women,” he says.

Revamping Service Line Planning at Mission Hospital
Mission Hospital used to consider scores of market and performance data during service line strategic planning. But the hospital has significantly reduced the time spent on this task. Service line planning teams now focus primarily on data that indicate market opportunities or vulnerabilities.

“We were doing a deep dive on every market and service, and it was taking days to manipulate the data by county, service, and facility,” says Cathi Durham, MBA, MHA, director, business development and strategy. “With less time spent in the data weeds, we have more time during the pre-planning phase to actually think and draw initial conclusions,” Schmitz adds.

De-Buzzing Patient-Centered Care
Patient-centered care isn’t about the quality of hospital food, convenient parking, or the color of the walls, says Susan Edgman-Levitan. Instead, it’s ensuring that patients understand provider communication and respecting patients’ values and preferences, says Levitan, the executive director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

One successful strategy: shared decision making, a formal process in which patients’ values and preferences are central considerations in determining which tests and treatments will be used. Since 2005, the Stoeckle Center’s Shared Decision Making Program has grown to include nearly 200 physicians who have recommended more than 10,000 decision aids to their patients.

Publication Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013