NC ACO Collaborative Hears About Integrating Specialists Into a PCMH

At the fourth quarterly meeting of the North Carolina Accountable Care Organization Collaborative, representatives of the growing group of ACOs in the state gathered at Community Care of North Carolina last week to compare their experiences with this emerging model of care, and to hear from a guest speaker from the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Eric D. Newman, MD, the director of the Department of Rheumatology and the vice chair for Clinical Innovations, Division of Medicine at Geisinger, described his group’s experience on integrating specialists into the patient centered medical home model.

Dr. Newman spoke about the evolution of a process he helped develop of integrating specialty care through four pilot projects with rheumatology, nephrology, endocrinology and thoracic specialties. He also described the challenges with the implementation and the metrics assembled thus far, which showed that their process has been successful.

Some of the key concepts he encouraged the group to consider are engaging people and using technology as merely a tool to accomplish this; incentivizing quality, service and improved relationships among the health care providers; and true sharing of data across all boundaries.

His conclusion was that specialty integration into PCMH is achievable.


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