News

/News

agilon health Partner Innovation & Platform Updates – May 2019

May 2019

Partner Innovation & Platform Updates

Partner Leadership

Innovation on the agilon health Platform

Industry News

agilon health

© agilon health. All rights reserved.
1 World Trade Center | Suite 2000 | Long Beach, CA | 90831

2019-05-22T11:39:31+00:00 May 4th, 2019|

agilon health Partner Innovation & Platform Updates – March 2019 Newsletter

March 2019

Partner Innovation & Platform Updates

Partner Leadership

Innovation on the agilon health Platform

Industry News

agilon health

© agilon health. All rights reserved.
1 World Trade Center | Suite 2000 | Long Beach, CA | 90831

2019-03-28T22:41:45+00:00 March 28th, 2019|

Lessons In Leadership: Ron Williams Shares excerpts from His Book (Releasing in May) and His Best Leadership Advice.

 

agilon health chairman, Ron Williams, and author of Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others and Leading an Organization (releasing in May), shares excerpts from his book about his best leadership advice with Thrive Global.  In addition to his perspectives on leadership, Ron also shared his recommendations for the U.S. healthcare industry in saying  “My personal view is that we need to get value back into the health care equation. We need to pay based on the value provided versus the number of services provided. agilon health, ….., is a company based in California working on physician-centric models for value-based health care.  Read more about the interview with Ron Williams here.

 

2019-03-09T18:02:00+00:00 March 9th, 2019|

Bill, Wulf, MD, CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care Shares Inspiring Stories from the COPC Senior Care Advantage 60 Strong Ambassadors and the Practice’s Focus on Creating an Innovative and Unique Model of Care for Seniors in the Greater Columbus, Ohio area.

There are certain milestones in life many approach with a mix of excitement and trepidation. For some, hitting age 60 is one of them.

So we get a little inspiration from the 60 Strong calendar. Learn about this inspiring project and how it hopes to inspire you at www.connectedseniorcareadvantage.com

Click here to watch one of our 60 Strong ambassadors sharing his inspiring story.

2019-03-24T05:16:44+00:00 February 23rd, 2019|

60 Strong Campaign, introduced in Columbus, Akron and Austin, as a public service initiative to promote wellness among baby boomers is another example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.

 

The pages of the calendar reveal a new year…and for many Baby Boomers, “take better care of myself” is likely on their 2019 resolution list. Exemplifying that is a dynamic group of 60 somethings in Columbus, Akron, and Austin – seniors who prove that a positive attitude helps them overcome the debilitating effects of chronic health conditions and live a longer, more productive life.

In an effort to “pay it forward,” these beacons of tenacity — ranging in age from 60 to 69 — are showing the world that it’s all about mindset and spreading the word to other seniors who have chronic health issues. The 60 Strong Ambassadors were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges to be highlighted in a 2019 calendar featuring activities and events that many seniors enjoy.

Ben Barlin, a 60 Strong Ambassador in Austin, was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. Ben could have easily become immobilized with self-pity. Instead, he decided to climb mountains. “To get my spirit back, I decided to summit Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere,” he says.

The 60 Strong Ambassadors program is the brainchild of agilon health. The 60 Strong initiative was launched as a public service by agilon health with its partnership practices: Austin Regional Clinic and Premier Family Physicians, Austin; Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians, Columbus; and Pioneer Physicians Network, Akron; to transform the way they care for seniors. Sixty Strong Calendar Contests are slated for several other markets, including Pittsburg and Dayton, in 2019.

Kevin Spencer, M.D., Medical Director for the Austin-based partnership with agilon health and Chairman of the Board of Premier Family Physicians, says, “Like Ben, all of our winners in the 60 Strong Campaign are very inspiring. Although many of them struggle with debilitating health issues, they all make fitness a priority and remain positive about the future. Some have founded their own charities, and all are donating time to non-profits and their communities.”

The Ambassadors speak at Medicare expos and senior events, and while their life challenges differ, they all have a common message about the importance of preventing chronic disease and maintaining good health, which is a growing concern in this age group.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports three in four US adults aged 65 and older have a chronic disease, such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Those numbers are expected to rise significantly with a rapidly growing population and increased life expectancy in the U.S. The Population Reference Bureau estimates the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double from 46 million today to 98 million by 2060.

Angela Bosela, an Akron 60 Strong Ambassador who had 70% of her stomach removed in 2007 and endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments, was inspired to become a competitive runner.

“After cheering for my daughter at a race, I was motivated to start running,” Angela says. “I’ve now completed 200 races, including a marathon and 15 half marathons, and I often place in my age group.”

Angela is also a volunteer counselor for stomach cancer survivors, and she and her husband Paul founded the Ohio Chapter of Debbie’s Dream Foundation, an organization that provides support to stomach cancer patients and their families.

Some of the 60 Strong Ambassadors are grief counselors; they also serve as spokespersons about Medicare coverage and other healthcare decisions and emphasize the importance of annual physicals, regular screenings, and exercise.

The last point is critical. According to the CDC, one-third of older adults do not get regular physical activity.

In gratitude for their newfound lease on life, the 60 Strong Ambassadors are literally paying it forward,” says Bill Wulf, M.D., CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians.  “The 60s are a difficult period — it’s often the first time people experience real health struggles. The Ambassadors have already experienced adversity, so they provide encouragement to others and give them hope.”

For the list of the ambassadors and to learn more about their inspirational stories, click here for Akron Austin, and Columbus.

2019-02-05T18:54:48+00:00 January 18th, 2019|

Ron Kuerbitz, agilon health CEO, was featured in the 2019 Healthcare Predictions, released by Canton & Company. The publication delivers perspectives from prominent thought leaders in the industry as well as insights from two of the top physician leaders in the United States.

Along with Ron Kuerbitz’s perspectives, the 2019 Healthcare Predictions includes commentaries from Bruce Leff, MD, Director for The Center for Transformative Geriatric Research at Johns Hopkins, Don McDaniel, Canton & Company CEO, David Nash, MD, Dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, and Jon Zimmerman, President of Virence Health Technologies.

Here is what Ron had to share.

1. What is your outlook for healthcare in 2019? What will change or not?

Overall, I am tremendously bullish for the industry’s abilities to deliver on the quadruple aim, and I expect the current tailwinds to continue. We see pockets of significant innovation across the landscape, the current administration appears to be introducing the right constructs and policies to reward quality and efficiency, and leading practices have shown that investments in coordinating care and identifying and managing outlier populations can effectively bend the cost curve.

On the other hand, we should closely monitor the hardships endured by the majority of physicians who still today practice in smaller independent practices. Many find it difficult to make the necessary investments to make a sustainable transition to managing total cost and quality of care. I especially worry that physician burnout and frustration with the transition to risk will increase for most of these providers.

2. Why will these trends continue?

We continue to closely watch the policymaking coming out of Washington. We applaud the administration’s support for the growth of Medicare Advantage and for the continued enablement of providers to assume more risk for the traditional Medicare population. Those trends will continue to support investment into integrated payment and care delivery that are critical to the sustainability of our healthcare system. Our physician partners and health plan collaborators recognize that we are at an important inflection point, and both are committed to working together to create an innovative, yet efficient, delivery system.

I believe, however, the most significant risk we have to fulfilling our mission of achieving the highest-quality value-based care at national scale is the leap required to fully integrate healthcare financing with the provision of care.

I consistently see practices and health systems struggle to operationalize a gradual glide path to risk. I don’t think that’s possible. I believe that practices must be positioned to make significant upfront investments in infrastructure and physician incentives, and without that, are likely to experience a growing sense of burnout and frustration in managing risk. These providers – caught with one leg on the fee-for-service dock and one in the value-based care boat – are doing a lot of work, but they’re not seeing a lot of improvement in their quality of life at work or sustainability in the investments they’ve had to make to support this kind of transition.

This is especially prevalent in primary care. Recent studies report up to 65% of family practice physicians are experiencing burnout. Think about the systems in place today; they aren’t designed for physicians to be optimally effective.

Physicians are managing patients in different lines of business, across numerous payers, in various reimbursement arrangements. The multiplicity of processes, the impossibility of making the right investment, and the inability to change these circumstances is overwhelming and a catalyst for burnout.

3. What impact will this have?

As I said earlier, I’m extremely bullish for the practices and health systems that have taken the leap and made the necessary investments to be successful in true value-based care. I see that physicians have more time to spend with the right patients at the right time. As a result, these physicians are being rewarded for their mastery and sense of purpose and have the capability to make the right investments to sustain their practice and improve their engagement with patients.

However, today these successful practices are still among the minority. The vast majority of others are seemingly caught in a vicious cycle of too little time and insufficient resources to make the leap to risk. They are inclined to become disenchanted with new team-based care models and protocols and might regress back to a focus on pure fee-for-service economics and paradigms.

 4. What advice do you have for industry stakeholders who want to prepare for the forecast you’ve outlined today?

For industry veterans like myself, we’ve never seen a time where there are such significant tailwinds for improving our healthcare delivery system. Our technologies, policies, capabilities, and economics are highly aligned around quality and efficiency. But we need to take advantage of it, and as such, we need to embrace a mindset change. We’re going to have to become collaborators with one another and build better partnerships to take advantage of the opportunities before us. We need to get physicians constructively engaged in the transition from fee-for-service to risk. We have to think about providing support to get them into organized systems on terms that make sense to them.

It’s akin to when the Detroit automotive manufacturers embraced vendors in the supply chain. They realized collaboration needed to happen for quality and value to improve. Vendors started attending design sessions and really participating as partners with the manufacturers. The result was quality cars built at lower prices that better met consumer needs. They understood that simply squeezing your counterparts doesn’t create value.

Healthcare stakeholders can partake in that kind of thinking – it’s the fundamental change that needs to happen.

 

The paper is available to download here from Canton & Company. To learn more about Canton & Company, click here.

 

2019-01-16T00:01:21+00:00 January 15th, 2019|

MDX Hawaii, an agilon health platform company, introduced Excellence in Kupuna Care in 2018 to recognize the high performing physicians in six quality care metrics. This campaign is just one example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.

The January 9th issue of MidWeek highlights  Excellence In Kupuna Care, an annual physician recognition program, introduced in 2018 by MDX Hawaii to acknowledge and celebrate the high performing primary care physicians throughout the Hawaii who excel in six quality care metrics. This campaign is just one example of the strategy and execution around the high-quality care that agilon health delivers across its platform.

Excellence in Kupuna Care

The selection criteria included six aspects of medical care which are important for patients over the age of 65.

The primary care physicians recognized in the campaign demonstrated excellence in:

  • Providing patients access to primary care services through flexible office hours, phone availability during non-business hours, and helpful office staff which reduces the frequency in which their patients utilize the emergency room.
  • Closely managing chronic conditions, as measured by the number of their patients with acceptable blood pressure and glucose levels
  • Recognizing the importance of follow-up visits with primary care physicians after discharge from the hospital to ensure patients understand the changes in medications, diet or lifestyle and patient care is monitored and coordinated.
  • Offering preventative care and patient education through the performance of annual wellness visits for their Medicare patients.
  • Rendering preventive screenings to identify disease early, such as breast and colon cancers, as well as the performance of routine Influenza immunizations.

The 2018 honorees are:

Emergency Department Utilization: Jinichi Tokeshi M.D., ManKwan Wong M.D.
Chronic Disease Quality Measures: Elizaga V. Fortunato M.D., Chang-Dich Lai M.D., Sharon Lawler M.D.
Annual Wellness Visits: Jose De Leon M.D., Chang-Dich Lai M.D.
Access to Care/Frequency of Primary Care Visits: Pon Sang Chan M.D.
Preventive Care: Kimberly K. Lund M.D., Maria C. Ilar-Revilla M.D.
The transition of Care Post Hospital Discharge: Keiichi Kobayashi M.D.

Quality healthcare starts in the primary care physician’s office. Congratulations to 10 primary care physicians who have been recognized for demonstrating their commitment to proving quality care to Medicare beneficiaries

For more information about the Excellence in Kupuna Care campaign, click here.

To read the MidWeek article, click here.

2019-01-11T05:29:43+00:00 January 9th, 2019|

Akron Fox 8 News Interviews Gary Pinta, MD, President of agilon health Partner Practice, Pioneer Physicians Network, and Two Paradigm Senior Care Advantage 60Strong Ambassadors.

agilon health is proud to share a news segment from our partnership and care delivery network in Akron, Paradigm Senior Care Advantage.  In partnership with a local leading primary care practice, Pioneer Physicians Network, this segment celebrates the leadership of practice CEO, Gary Pinta, MD, and two of twelve 60Strong ambassadors, who are featured on a 2019 calendar.  The 60 Strong Ambassadors, who range in age from 60 to 69, were chosen by a celebrity panel of judges, and embody how life after 60 can be vibrant and active time.  Watch the segment here.

agilon health launched the 60Strong initiative as a public service for seniors and to raise awareness for its physician partner’s commitment to expanded and highly coordinated senior care.

2019-01-14T17:35:50+00:00 January 8th, 2019|

COPC CEO, William Wulf, MD, and agilon health CEO, Ron Kuerbitz recently spoke with Becker’s Healthcare about net promoter scores and shifting practice culture to adapt to value-based care

The original article appeared in the Becker’s Spine Review and the Becker’s Hospital Review.  Becker’s Spine Review and Becker’s Hosptial Review are the original producers of the content.

 

Columbus-based Central Ohio Primary Care is the nation’s largest independent primary care physician group and an industry leader in physician engagement.

COPC partnered with agilon health, which aims to help physician groups implement programs to spend less time on business administration and more time with patients. COPC CEO William Wulf, MD, and agilon health CEO Ron Kuerbitz recently spoke with Becker’s Spine Review about net promoter scores and shifting practice culture to adapt to value-based care.

Question: What is the importance of a high net promoter score for physician practices?

Dr. William Wulf: Net promoter score is a common metric for physician engagement and patient experience. We believe there is a connection between the two — physicians who are satisfied with their practice environment deliver better patient care.

We are extremely proud that our NPS from physicians is an industry-leading 85, which basically means there are 85 percent more physician promoters within our practice than detractors. When you bring 350 physicians together under one common clinical vision and governance structure, achieving that level of satisfaction doesn’t happen on its own. Many of our strategies and initiatives are designed to improve the lives of our physicians.

We also measure how satisfied our patients are with the care and service they receive from our physicians. For example, we recently surveyed patients that participate in our COPC Senior Care Advantage program, and more than 95 percent of them attend their annual wellness visits. and many of them say they love the focused time and attention from their COPC physician.

As a result of our partnership with agilon health, we were able to launch a global risk program in 2017 for our Medicare Advantage patients, and today, more than 25,0000 COPC patients are benefitting from it. agilon health’s platform, which delivers an integrated people, process and technology solution through a deeply-aligned partnership with our physician group, has allowed us to develop a Medicare Advantage-focused service line without sacrificing our independence and practice culture.

Question: What were the key contributors to your high score? What makes the difference?

WW: While COPC’s philosophy has always been to include our physicians in the practice’s decision-making process, we are now involving them even more. One physician representative from each of the 67 clinics attends a monthly advisory committee meeting. Today, more than 80 percent of COPC physicians are shareholders, and, therefore, are financially rewarded for contributing to the success of the practice. Also, all COPC physicians are incentivized for their ability to deliver quality patient care.

In addition to our governance model, we believe that our commitment as a practice to value-based care is a significant contributor to physician satisfaction. Working with the leadership of agilon health, we have implemented new strategies, such as centralized referral management; new sites of care, including a high-risk clinic; increased clinical assistance from nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals and improved patient engagement, to name a few. These strategies allow our physicians to spend more quality time with their patients and provide them with even more comprehensive healthcare.

Q: How does this raise the bar for other physician groups?

Ron Kuerbitz: The U.S. healthcare system is in the midst of systematic change for primary care physicians. Physician burnout is becoming endemic, the patient mix is quickly shifting to Medicare and Medicare Advantage, payer mix is shifting to risk-based payment, and the demands for quality care coordination systems are greater than ever. However, from our perspective, the market does not offer primary care physicians an effective model to capture the emerging opportunity.

With agilon health’s help, the COPC model is paying off. This year, the organization has added 10 new physicians, and the practice’s Medicare Advantage patient population has grown more than 10 percent. COPC is thriving as a result of this growth and enhancing its position of the ‘practice of choice,’ which makes it attractive to new physician talent and further strengthens its competitive position in the marketplace.

Besides COPC, agilon health is assisting other U.S. physician practices to stay ahead of the curve by providing them with a platform to leap from fee-for-service to value-based care. We are beginning to see this virtuous cycle with our other partner practices, including primary care groups in Austin, [Texas], and Akron, [Ohio]. Within the next two years, we expect to provide our technology-enabled risk services to a total of 15 markets across the U.S.

Q: Do you think the net promoter scores will become part of a national trend?

RK: Yes. The continued commitment to measuring physician engagement underlines its importance in the success and sustainability of our healthcare system. And the net promoter score is an excellent tool for measuring the overall satisfaction rate of physicians.

Shortages of primary care physicians, aging populations, and the complexity of changing reimbursement systems and the program put a tremendous amount of strain on many physician practices. On a daily basis, physicians find themselves on the front lines of this transition from fee-for-service to high-quality, value-based care, often without a partner to help or a business model to use as a guide. It’s important for physician groups to seek outside help during this difficult transitional time.

Personally, I think the deep commitment we make to our partner practices not only engages them at the organization level but also touches each individual physician. Our physician leaders and the agilon health team agree with those tenets and we’ve built a company to cultivate that.

Q: How did the practice have to shift its culture to get this score?

WW: We realize that physicians want to work in an environment where they are appreciated, and their time and input are valued. At COPC, physicians continue to be more involved in the decision making and are financially rewarded and incentivized. COPC is leading the way nationally through its adoption of a successful value-based care model, but we know that our practice must continue to evolve with the changes in the marketplace. We want to provide our physicians with complete transparency for the quality and cost of the care we manage and the utilization trends of all providers in the network. We strive to give them the opportunity to spend the right amount of time with the right patient. And most of all, we want them to remain independent. Physicians who feel they contribute and are engaged in the practice are one of the main reasons that COPC continues to be an industry leader, offering high-quality and accountable care for patients.

To read the original post, click here

2018-12-27T19:00:27+00:00 November 12th, 2018|

agilon health’s Innovative Interventions and Achievement in Closing Care Gaps Featured in “Case Studies in Excellence 2018”

“Case Studies in Excellence 2018” Spotlights the Value of Coordinated Care

WASHINGTONOct.  10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A computer app reduced hospital readmissions by 26 percent. A 24-hour house call practice showed 34 percent lower patient mortality rates. Innovative interventions improved care in hypertension, depression, and diabetes.

These are just a few of the outstanding results featured in Case Studies in Excellence 2018, a new volume from America’s Physician Groups (APG) that highlights how value-based delivery models are improving patient care while lowering healthcare costs. APG releases the collection at its Colloquium 2018, which is taking place October 10-12 in Washington, DC.

“These stories of coordinated and patient-centric care are truly compelling and exemplify what value-based care is all about: keeping patients healthier while lowering costs and boosting patient and physician satisfaction,” said Dr. Amy Nguyen Howell, APG’s Chief Medical Officer.

Each of the seven case studies highlights a specific challenge faced by a physician group, along with the solution and results. The studies were selected from APG members across the country, including top honorees from APG’s nationally recognized Standards of Excellence™ (SOE®) program—a voluntary program that measures physician groups’ capabilities to deliver high-quality, risk-based care.

Featured medical groups are agilon health, Long Beach, California; Landmark Health, Huntington Beach, California; Marshfield Clinic Health System, Marshfield, Wisconsin; Oak Street Health, Chicago; Prospect Medical Systems, Johnston, Rhode Island; Tandigm Health, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; and Vancouver Clinic, Vancouver, Washington.

“Our members have repeatedly demonstrated that a risk-based, coordinated delivery model results in the best quality of care for patients,” Nguyen said. “Sharing these case studies is one more way APG is working to support physician groups across the country as they move away from traditional fee-for-service payment models to innovative, value-based care that puts patients first.”

To download a free copy of Case Studies in Excellence 2018, visit www.apg.org/casestudies.

About America’s Physician Groups  
America’s Physician Groups (APG) is the nation’s leading professional association for accountable physician groups, composed of over 300 medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs) across 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. America’s Physician Groups’ members operate under a capitated, coordinated care model that is the essence of the nation’s health reform movement from volume to value.

2018-12-05T01:27:54+00:00 October 10th, 2018|
Load More Posts