Physician groups participating in a CMS demo project attributed telemedicine initiatives in part to their success in improving quality of care for heart and diabetes patients.
The 10 participating groups earned $16.7 million in incentive payments during the second year of the Physician Group Practice Demonstration for achieving benchmark or target performance on at least 25 out of 27 quality markers for patients with diabetes, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. The lions share of that amount, however, went to only four of the groups that in the CMS view achieved significant savings for the Medicare program.
The groups include: Billings (Mont.) Clinic; Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Bedford, N.H.; the Everett (Wash.) Clinic; Forsyth Medical Group, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pa.; Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic; Middlesex Health System, Middletown, Conn.; Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis Park, Minn.; St. Johns Health System, Springfield, Mo.; and the University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice, Ann Arbor.
Marshfield, which achieved benchmark performance on 100% of the quality measures has made substantial investments to develop necessary tools to improve quality of care delivered to patients, even prior to this project, the clinic said in a statement.
The clinic has a telephone nurse line for advice and triage, and has developed an electronic health record. All physicians in the clinic system have access to patient records from all clinic centers through the EHR, which helps to eliminate rework on lab tests, imaging and more, the clinic stated.
The EHR also assists in planning visits, addressing care at the time of the visit and assuring appropriate monitoring of chronic conditions is performed, according to Marshfield.