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Healthcare Business News
 

Centura makes move into 'health neighborhoods'


By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: January 16, 2013 - 1:45 pm ET
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Centura Health has established an integrated network of 198 physicians in 13 Colorado communities that it said will move beyond “traditional reactive sick care” to a consumer-centric model that advances wellness services with a focus on keeping people healthy.

The Englewood, Colo.-based system, which is a partnership between Adventist Health System and Catholic Health Initiatives, refers to the communities in the network as “health neighborhoods,” built on physician-led teams providing convenient, evidence-based care. The network will be comprised of 32 primary-care practices as well as 96 primary-care doctors and 102 specialty physicians.

“Through the health neighborhood approach, Centura Health is leveraging its statewide network to move past the bricks-and-mortar model of traditional, reactive healthcare, shifting the entire paradigm of healthcare delivery to meet the population health needs, bringing greater value to consumers,” Gary Campbell, Centura Health president and CEO, said in a news release.

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Plans call for assigning “health coordinators” to individuals to ensure they understand and follow physician recommendations and for monitoring patients to detect and diagnose conditions that could become chronic, according to the release. Physicians will also report quality measures related to hypertension, tobacco use and body-mass index. The program calls for later expanding these to include measures on diabetes, blood-pressure management, breast-cancer screening, cervical-cancer screening and colorectal screening.

In the release, it was noted that access to the new model is still limited, but implementation has begun and it's already available to the 20,000 employees and family members covered by the Centura benefit plan.

Elsewhere, a three-year nationwide “medical neighborhood” demonstration project involving 15 healthcare organizations is just getting rolling. Financed by a $20.8 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the project is seeking to register some $53.8 million in savings by identifying patients at high risk for hospitalization and coordinating their care so their conditions will not require admission.

Expanding on the concept of the patient-centered medical home, which offers coordinated care and increased access while undergoing continuous quality improvement, the medical or health neighborhood involves using electronic health records to help facilitate seamless coordination between primary-care practices, specialists and other healthcare providers in a community.


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