SEATTLE, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- MCG, part of the Hearst Health network and a leading provider of informed care strategies, has named St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, a California statewide physician practice organization, a recipient of the 2015 Doyle Award. The award recognizes the role Heritage played to help its parent organization, St. Joseph Health, implement an MCG informed care solution. The implementation enabled the formation of a successful accountable care organization (ACO) in partnership with a commercial health plan. After implementation, the St. Joseph Health integrated health delivery system saw an almost immediate impact on quality and cost- efficiency. Over the first two years, it reduced hospital admissions by 9% and 30-day readmissions by 33%, saving an estimated $1.4 million a year. Length of stay also improved, and by the end of 2015, St. Joseph Health had reduced average inpatient days per 1,000 patients by nearly 10%.
On January 1, 2012, St. Joseph Health launched an accountable care initiative with Blue Shield of California, assuming full risk in managing the health of all the plan's 30,000 members in Orange County. While St. Joseph Health's leadership welcomed the opportunity to improve care quality and reduce costs, its resources—hospitals, affiliated physician networks and medical groups—had been operating independently without the coordination needed to manage risk effectively at a system level. "We were facing huge variability in services, processes, data management, and resources," says Linda Violas, Director of Clinical Effectiveness at Heritage. "Bringing together stakeholders who were functioning quite well on their own was one of our biggest challenges."
Heritage leveraged MCG clinical guidelines and Cite CareWebQI to benchmark and manage inpatient admission and length of stay performance. In addition to providing performance benchmarks, the guidelines catalyzed the alignment of facilities and staff. St. Joseph Health now has a Care Integration Division that manages the integration of utilization and care management programs across the system, as well as a Population Health Department that oversees the collection of data needed to report against quality measures.
"Patient-centered care and effective resource management are at the heart of the shift to accountable care," says Violas. "MCG furnished Heritage with the benchmarks and transparent evidence-based guidance we needed to build clinical consensus and drive efficiency across the continuum of care."
MCG leadership commends St. Joseph Health's success with its first ACO—and has high hopes for its second, which it launched in January 2015. "Organizations that drive consistent decision-making based on the clinical evidence improve outcomes and lower delivery costs," says Jon Shreve, President of MCG. "St. Joseph Health's example underscores the promise of this strategy."
About St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare
Part of St. Joseph Health, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare (SJHH) includes eight medical groups in California, five of which are in Southern California. In addition to our medical groups, SJHH supports three distinct affiliated physician networks throughout the region. Combined, they provide Orange County residents access to more than 475 primary care physicians and more than 1,250 physicians in virtually every specialty. SJHH medical groups and affiliated physicians have received top honors from various organizations, including the Orange County Medical Association for Physicians of Excellence and the Integrated Healthcare Association with distinction in clinical quality.
About St. Joseph Health
St. Joseph Health (SJH) is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system that includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services and community outreach services. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, SJH remains rooted to the sisters' traditions of assessing a community's needs and adapting strategies to meet those needs. Today, SJH continues its work in the tradition of the sisters through its wide networks of outstanding services. In each region it serves, SJH reaches out to care for the poor and vulnerable, establishing and supporting many programs and services that benefit the community. For more information, visit stjhs.org.
MCG, part of the Hearst Health Network, helps healthcare organizations implement informed care strategies that proactively and efficiently move patients toward health. MCG's transparent assessment of the latest research and scholarly articles, along with our own data analysis, gives patients, providers and payors the vetted information they need to feel confident in every care decision, in every moment. www.mcg.com.
About Hearst Health
MCG is part of the Hearst Health network, which also includes FDB (First Databank), Zynx Health and Homecare Homebase, Hearst Health International, Hearst Health Ventures and the Hearst Health Innovation Lab. The mission of the Hearst Health network is to help guide the most important care moments by delivering vital information into the hands of everyone who touches a person's health journey. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from the Hearst Health network reaches 84 percent of discharged patients, 174 million insured individuals, 41 million home health visits, and 4 billion prescriptions. www.hearsthealth.com
About The Richard L. Doyle Award for Innovation and Leadership in Healthcare
The Doyle Award was developed to recognize organizations that make innovative use of the care guidelines to help deliver effective healthcare.
Dr. Doyle, the care guidelines founding editor, was a hospital chief-of-staff when he began creating clinical guidelines in the 1980s to help improve healthcare efficiency and quality at Mercy Hospital in San Diego. He later joined Milliman & Robertson and in 1990 published the first set of what was to become the care guidelines.
Judges for this award are independent healthcare quality experts, not currently associated with MCG. Applicants were judged on how well their projects supported the MCG mission to help drive effective care. Judges looked for evidence of improvements in healthcare quality and patient safety; patient/member satisfaction; staff efficiency, productivity and satisfaction; internal/external communication; and effective use of resources.
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