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Delivering customized breakthroughs in clinical, financial outcomes

Physician practice managers know that it takes much more than technology to successfully navigate today’s increasing cost pressures.

All the technology available to help physician practices move from fee-for-service to value-based care and deliver smarter, better care can’t, on its own, guarantee success. Success comes from aligning the right technology investments with the benefits of strategic partnerships and targeted expertise. At times, the best innovations come when partners are empowered and supported to find customized solutions.

That’s the story behind a partnership forged in New York’s Capital Region to better serve patients in the eight-county region.

Community Care Physicians, P.C. (CCP), the region’s largest, independent multi-specialty medical group with 420 practitioners across 80 locations and 30 specialties, seized an opportunity to direct its own path in data science for improved patient outcomes and to achieve practice efficiencies.

To be successful and remain independent, practices like CCP must pool their expertise with strategic partners to deliver new solutions exactly when and where they are most needed.

Partnership, collaboration

CCP has long recognized the power of technology and partnership to achieve its goals.

In 2005, CCP became the first fully integrated healthcare organization in the area to transition physical patient charts to an electronic health records (EHR) system. Since that time, CCP continued to innovate, identifying new ways to integrate technology into patient care to enhance the patient-physician relationship and streamline the delivery of care.

CCP operates with two instances of the Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and multiple other IT systems. They faced the challenge of consolidating reporting requirements for population health and payers in a mixed operating environment where fee-for-service still prevails alongside risk-based contracts.

For example, realizing the potential for delivering value-based care (where quality is defined as improved health outcomes, and financial returns are measured through cost savings) and doing so in this mixed operating environment, physicians of CCP invested in the creation of Acuitas Health three years ago.

Albany, NY-based Acuitas Health is a population health and value-based solutions company formed through partnership between the physician investors and a local payer, Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan Inc.

The alliance formed with Acuitas as a value-based healthcare company, the physicians as investors, and CCP as a customer enables the team to scale practice intelligence, analytics, data science, and engineering to succeed in a value-based care environment. The group works closely to deliver solutions that enable clinicians and medical practice managers with the insights they need to do well.

One of Acuitas Health’s keys to success are its close relationships with care providers and deep understanding of the patient population.

Acuitas Health’s objective in concert with CCP is to build a protective cushion around the 1:1 relationship a primary care physician has with his/her patients. Acuitas consumes the complexity of value-based contracts and requirements, and helps re-introduce meaningful, actionable information into the practice workflow.

Delivering results

Reporting and sharing patient data are key in the delivery of value-based care.

Acuitas Health, working in conjunction with their clinical partners in CCP, developed a customized solution that places claims information at the point of care in the EHR. This enables clinicians to understand the acuity of patients across the continuum of care within its own practice and outside of it. With this understanding, clinicians and site managers have the information they need to care for patients, accurately code, and achieve the business’ financial goals.

Correctly coding patient acuity improves shared savings, and this accuracy is critical when operating in a risk-based environment.

  • Practitioners see accurate coding as an opportunity to deliver better care because they understand the patient holistically using advanced analyses.
  • Coding with more specificity means providers can adjust risk factors in real time.
  • Shared savings is achieved more effectively.
  • Data that previously took months to compile is available at the point of care.
  • Putting claims information at the point of care (in the EHR) addresses clinician burden, since clinicians don’t have to look elsewhere to find it.


Additional Author:

Keegan Bailey, MS, is Strategy and Technology Leader, Acuitas Health

Bailey serves as Acuitas Health’s Strategy and Technology Leader providing leadership and subject matter expertise in value-based healthcare. He is responsible for building an agile, responsive organization focused on customer outcomes and supporting customers through the market transition from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare as a member of Acuitas Health’s leadership team. He also oversees the organization’s core functions, including Outcomes Engineering, Practice Intelligence, Data Architecture/Data Science, Project and Product Management, and Care Management. Keegan is also Founder and Chief Value Architect at Navaste Health, a consultancy in healthcare, and Clinical Associate Professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior at the SUNY Albany School of Public Health, concentrating on value-based healthcare.

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