The benefits of clinically integrated networks

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Novant Health initiative positions the healthcare system for success with the the Novant Health Clinically Integrated Network (NHCIN).

“As the healthcare industry continues to transition to a value-based model of care, collaboration among healthcare providers is imperative to identifying and adopting evidence-based best practices at a lower cost.”

Patients, government agencies and insurance providers are demanding that healthcare organizations be accountable for providing higher quality care at a lower price. To achieve this goal, healthcare systems and independent providers are turning to clinical integration networks (CIN) to position themselves for success.

CIN allows healthcare providers to more effectively coordinate the care of patients so they can improve the value of care provided, including reducing healthcare costs or redundancies in care. Today, over 500 clinically integrated networks are in the United States.

To improve collaboration among physicians in the markets it serves, Novant Health recently launched the Novant Health Clinically Integrated Network (NHCIN). This statewide North Carolina physician network is designed to deliver high-quality patient outcomes and improved patient access at a lower cost.

“The creation of the NHCIN is just one initiative underway at Novant Health to transition the healthcare delivery system from fee-for-service to a value-based care model,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “At Novant Health, we believe that collaboration among all healthcare providers will improve patient satisfaction and the health of our communities, while reducing the cost of healthcare. It is just one more way we are able to provide high-quality care in all communities we serve.”

Collectively, members of the network will develop clinical pathways and protocols, create improved systems for care, share and analyze clinical outcomes data, and determine the most efficient way to deliver high-quality, affordable patient care. NHCIN members will also be able to provide consumers with greater continuity of care through increased clinical data sharing, including improved access to specialty care and timeliness for sharing test results and other clinical information among the patient’s preferred healthcare providers.

NHCIN is co-led by Dr. William Caldwell, senior vice president for clinical integration at Novant Health and an independent otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) specialist in Charlotte, North Carolina; Dr. David Cook, a family medicine physician with Novant Health Lakeside Family Physicians; and a board of directors made up of both independent and Novant Health physicians from across North Carolina.

“As physicians, it is our responsibility to strive to improve the health of our communities and provide care to individuals that is high quality, safe, patient-centered and affordable,” said Caldwell. “As the healthcare industry continues to transition to a value-based model of care, collaboration among healthcare providers is imperative to identifying and adopting evidence-based best practices at a lower cost.”

Today, a CIN program is the most effective way to create the incentives, management and infrastructure healthcare systems need to improve care quality and efficiency.

More than half of all healthcare spending is deemed wasteful spending, and clinical and operational inefficiencies are two of the most significant contributors, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute. Furthermore, one-third of healthcare spending can be attributed to unnecessary hospitalizations, redundant tests, unproven treatment and excessive end-of-life care because the approach to care may vary by physicians.

CIN has the means to establish better coordinated care, enforce practice guidelines, standardize procedures, employ cost-control measures and drive quality improvement. It is the next step toward establishing a higher quality of care at the lowest possible price.

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Jennifer Meadows
Novant Health
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