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Featured Stories | Oct 29, 2021

Power of Partnership: Helping senior patients get the total healthcare they need

Senior patients in Pittsburgh now have access to top-tier, comprehensive and affordable healthcare, thanks to an innovative partnership between agilon health and Preferred Primary Care Physicians (PPCP), an independently-owned group of physicians in the greater Pittsburgh area.

It was over two years ago when agilon health and PPCP joined forces to create a new model for primary care.  This new model of healthcare, the “total care model,” enables physicians to focus on the entire health of their patients – from annual wellness visits and preventative care to early interventions and urgent care needs. Today, over 20,000 local Medicare beneficiaries participate in the program.

Providing extraordinary care to senior patients

Frank Civitarese, D.O., President of PPCP

The partnership between agilon health and PPCP comes at a critical time. Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the nation’s worst states for funding of primary care services for patients. In fact, the 2020 Primary Care Collaborative found Pennsylvania spent only 3.37% on primary care services – 28% less than the national average.

“We are proud of the total care model that we’ve created, which places the patient and their primary care physician at the center of clinical decision making,” says Frank Civitarese, D.O., President of PPCP. “What makes the total care model so unique is that we’re able to reach patients outside of our offices with our integrated wrap-around services, which enhance our ability to provide quality and cost-effective care to our senior patients and their families. I really believe that’s what helps set this model and us apart.”

Gregory R. Erhard, Jr., CEO of PPCP

For one patient, a 71-year old man, the shift to the total care model has made a huge difference. Until that point, his cancer history, coupled with his myriad of chronic health conditions, meant regular hospitalizations and restrictions from living life to its fullest. In coordination with his PPCP care team, he is doing well, his conditions are well managed, and he’s had no hospitalizations since March. With the tremendous, hands-on support of his PPCP care team, he and his wife also were able to safely travel out of state to see his sons and grandkids this past summer.

“These are the kind of stories that demonstrate the importance of our work and the power of our partnership with agilon health,” says Gregory R. Erhard, Jr., CEO of PPCP. “Through our new total care model, we are able to provide extraordinary care to our senior patients. This is a real transformation of our primary care practice.”

Transforming healthcare in communities

agilon health CEO Steve Sell says the partnership with PPCP has been outstanding. “PPCP is the first physician group in Pennsylvania to truly take full responsibility for the quality and cost of care for senior patients. In just two years since implementing the total care model within PPCP, Pittsburgh has become one of agilon’s most successful markets and speaks to our ability to support diverse geographies.”

agilon health CEO Steve Sell

And the program is receiving high praise from Pittsburgh patients. Results of a recent survey of PPCP’s Medicare Advantage patients – who are now part of the total care model – showed a net promoter score of 81, which is considered best-in-class and above beloved consumer brands like Apple, and that 95% of respondents receive high-quality, comprehensive care.

In addition, the majority of senior patients receive recommended cancer screenings (80%) and are adherent to their cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes medicines (90%) – both indicators of a five-star care rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which signifies the highest level of quality.

With a national shortage of primary care doctors, PPCP has been able to add six new physicians to help expand access and ensure comprehensive care for their senior patients since the inception of the partnership.

“We are proud of our partnership with PPCP as they reflect what we’re striving to achieve as a company, which is to enable primary care physicians to transform healthcare in their communities,” adds Steve.

More about PPCP

Founded in 1995, PPCP is the largest independent primary care practice in Western Pennsylvania. It consists of 41 primary care physicians, 30 advance practice providers and 221 other full-time employees, serving around 85,000 patients. Its 25 practice locations cover the Pittsburgh communities of South Hills, Washington, Charleroi and Uniontown. Nine of the PPCP locations provide care to federally underserved communities in Pittsburgh and Uniontown.

PPCP has a long history of driving quality care and leveraging state-of-the-art technologies. In addition to primary care services, PPCP offers complex care management, primary care palliative services, ambulatory care, certified diabetes education, nutrition counseling, social workers and an after-hours nursing triage/telehealth center. It also offers a central laboratory and outpatient centers (for cardiac testing, sleep disorders and physical therapy). PPCP also is involved in clinical research, and is currently one of 75 practices in the U.S. – and the only one in Pennsylvania – to participate in pediatric clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine; it also was one of the clinical trial sites for other COVID-19 therapeutics. For more information, visit www.ppcp.org.

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