Physician leaders in multi-specialty medical groups and health systems participating in the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) https://accountablecaredoctors.org have determined six key findings from the COVID-19 pandemic that will improve America’s Health Care System. CAPP represents more than 30 groups and more than 85,000 physicians.
“It is clear that the investments made by integrated medical groups in telehealth, population health, physician leadership, and coordinated care paid off in the COVID-19 crisis,”, noted Lura Fergraus, Executive Director of CAPP.
She continued to report, “Our groups were able to quickly transition the vast majority of patient visits from in-person to remote. We leveraged existing programs to care for high risk patients and relied on our strong culture of teamwork to maintain continuity of care during the crisis. As a result, we developed a systematic response effectively deal with the pandemic.
Additional systems used included the rapid formation of operational command centers, multiple daily briefings, real-time communications about changes to treatment protocols, and immediately encoding the newest best treatment practices into electronic health IT systems.
“We made changes in a few days that would have taken months or years of discussion otherwise, and would have been slowed or prohibited by regulatory barriers,” said Norman Chenven, MD, Vice Chair of CAPP, and Founding CEO of Austin Regional Clinic and President of Covenant Management Systems.
The six major initiatives developed by physician leaders to shape the healthcare system post-COVID include:
- Accelerate the Transition to Paying for Value—Medical groups and health systems that provide care in value-based payment model had a more stable financial base, allowing them to weather the financial impact of the pandemic
- Remote Care is Here to Stay—Remote patient visits should be sustained with regulatory support and payment on a parity with in-person visits. The use of telehealth also can solve many of the access issues that exist due to distance, shortages of healthcare providers, plus other barriers
- Health Care is Moving Home—The location is care is shifting from brick and mortar facilities to the home. Patients with chronic illnesses should have access to home monitoring equipment when clinically appropriate. New initiatives such as hospital-at-home should be further explored and developed
- Invest in Primary Care and Prevention—Going forward, physicians should benefit from the support of an integrated infrastructure in order to deliver the best care in today’s complex delivery system. Better models of care and payment will help fulfill their patient care mission
- Stakeholder Collaboration to Remedy Health Care Disparities—Policymakers, healthcare providers, and purchasers must collaborate to fundamentally address health disparities, which have been highlighted by the pandemic
- Bring Physician Leaders to the Table—Accountable physician leaders should be involved in the planning and design of the next evolutional phase of American healthcare. They should be treated as experienced engineers of care delivery so the focus will always remain on the patient
It is time to bring to bear the learnings of this challenging time and make a plan that will fast track us to the ultimate goal which is have a healthy America,” concluded Stephen Parodi, MD, Chair of CAPP and Executive VP of External Affairs, Communications and Brand, The Permanente Federation.
Go to https://accountablecaredoctors.org/covid-19/covid-19-lessons-a-path-to-a-better-health-care-system for more information included in the report.