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House of Cards: Using Process Simulation Modeling As the Glue for Practice Transformation

Posted by Matthew Smith on May 26, 2017 9:42:32 AM

Adapting to the current healthcare environment for most medical groups may feel like a house of cards, each card representing a different initiative precariously stacked, one on top of the other, with the slightest slip causing the pieces to crumble.

Medical groups are scrambling to understand changing reimbursement structures, to establish new systems of care and to integrate with larger health systems to manage populations of patients, all while trying to maintain patient and provider satisfaction. With all of these factors competing for attention and change fatigue rampant among providers and staff, it can be difficult to implement the necessary changes to help achieve a vision for practice transformation.

Because of this fragility, practices often fear that the change itself will be their undoing. However, successful change can be achieved with thoughtful planning, the necessary tools and stakeholder engagement to motivate commitment. Simulation modeling is one tool that can assist practices in modifying practice patterns with minimal disruption to operations, resulting in better outcomes.

To read this article in its entirety, please click the button, below, to download a PDF version of this article.

Practice Transformation

Topics: Medical Practice, Practice Transformation, Simulation Modeling

Primary Care at a Crossroads

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 25, 2016 2:42:30 PM

By Marc Mertz, MHA, FACMPE, Vice President, GE Healthcare Camden Group

Most primary care practices still operate based on a model developed decades ago: the hours of operation, appointment scheduling rules, staffing, patient flow, and office design were all determined based on physician preference. In an attempt to provide physicians with a more convenient practice model, we created a system that forced patients to accept long waits for appointments, inefficient office flow, and limited ability to communicate with their physicians outside of the exam room.

Yet physicians hardly fared any better in these offices that were actually designed with them at the center. Complex appointment scheduling rules and templates inherently led to mistakes and double booking, phone messages piled up, administrative work increased, patient appointments ran behind, and physicians inevitably spent hours working in the clinic long after patients had left.

While the typcial primary care practice doesn't really work for patients or physicians, in the absence of alternatives, we came to accept this model for what it was. But times are changing. A plethora of new providers are entering the primary care marketplace, and their growing popularity is as much an indictment on traditional physician-centric primary care practices as it is a reflection of new reimbursement models and rising consumerism.

To contunue reading "Primary Care at a Crossroads," please click the button below. You will instantly be directed to the online article published in CAPG Health's Summer 2016 issue.

Primary Care, Practice Management, Practice Transformation


MertzM.jpgMr. Mertz is a vice president with GE Healthcare Camden Group and has 18 years of healthcare management experience. He has 15 years of experience in medical group development and management, physician-hospital alignment strategies, physician practice operational improvement, practice mergers and acquisitions, medical group governance and organizational design, clinical integration, and physician compensation plan design. He may be reached at [email protected].  

Topics: Practice Management, Primary Care, Primary Care Providers, Primary Care Access, Marc Mertz, Practice Transformation

Shifting Away from the Status Quo: Reinventing the Primary Care Practice

Posted by Matthew Smith on Apr 19, 2016 1:55:43 PM

By Susan Corneliuson, M.H.S., FACHE, Senior Manager, GE Healthcare Camden Group

Primary care practices will be continually challenged to drive clinical transformation and care coordination across the continuum as more and more systems evolve to care for patient populations. This transition will have a major impact on practices and require significant cultural and operational shifts away from the status quo.

A basic premise of effective population health is the need to expand one’s reach to a large population and manage care effectively across the continuum. To accomplish this successfully, it is important to not only consider the number of primary care physicians within a practice but also the composition and size of a physician’s panel. Under this new paradigm, considering physician numbers alone is not sufficient. Practices must also examine the ease of physician access and the access experience that the practice, the physician, and the care team at large create. Understanding each physician’s panel and the unique patients who comprise the panel is key to success in this evolving healthcare environment. Reinventing the primary care practice requires going beyond the status quo and asks us to consider how care is delivered, to whom, and where.

To continue reading this article in its entirety, please click the button below for immediate (no form) access.

Primary Care Transformation

Topics: Primary Care Physicians, Family Physicians, Primary Care, Susan Corneliuson, Practice Transformation

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