Allegheny Health Network’s Premier Medical Associates Receives 2016 Acclaim Award

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The American Medical Group Association has named Premier Medical Associates, an Allegheny Health Network affiliated physician group, as the recipient of its prestigious 2016 Acclaim Award.

Our model for success is simply to deliver to patients the highest standard of healthcare at the lowest possible cost.

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) has named Monroeville-based Premier Medical Associates, an Allegheny Health Network affiliated physician group, as the recipient of its prestigious 2016 Acclaim Award. The award, supported by the association’s AMGA Foundation, is designed to recognize and celebrate the successes that medical groups and other organized systems of care have achieved in improving the value of the healthcare services they provide to their communities.

“Our model for success is simply to deliver to patients the highest standard of healthcare at the lowest possible cost,” said Mark DeRubeis, CEO at Premier Medical Associates. “We are extremely pleased to be recognized with this award, and hope that our success serves as an example for how value-based care is a win for everyone, including providers, payers, and – most importantly – patients.”

The Cleveland Clinic and Susquehanna Health Medical Group are recognized as this year’s Acclaim Award honorees.

Practice leaders and physicians of Premier Medical Associates believe the fee-for-service model encourages overutilization of physician visits as well as unnecessary testing and hospitalizations. They recognized this care model is not sustainable, and in 2011 created a practice model that is well-suited to succeed in a value-driven payment system. During the transformation, they focused on providing care for underserved populations, offering a hardship program that provides financial assistance and free medical care to patients who require treatment for both acute and chronic conditions, but who cannot afford it due to unfortunate circumstances.

The group also focused on providing high-value care to 2,200 patients in skilled nursing facilities and initiated a provider/nurse practitioner team who cares for more than 100 home-bound patients who would otherwise lack care.

According to DeRubeis, Premier has shifted its strategic vision of patient care to maximize quality through innovative care models. Highlights of their initiatives include:

  • In the summer of 2013, all seven adult primary care offices were recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home on the first attempt under 2011 guidelines. During the next year, the pediatric office also received the level 3 certification. The transformation from an acute care model to a chronic care model was now complete.
  • At Premier Medical Associates, colon cancer screening averages around 80 percent, pneumonia vaccine rates are over 85 percent for the elderly and 35 percent for high-risked adults, Zostavax vaccination rates are over 50 percent, tdap vaccine rates are over 50 percent, statin prescribing rates for diabetic patients are about 70 percent, and D4 control rates are about 50 percent.
  • In late 2013, the AMGA Foundation national campaign to address hypertension, Measure Up/Pressure Down® (MUPD), was launched, and Premier was an early participant. The campaign goal was for healthcare provider organizations to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients with their condition in control by 2016. Beginning with a 62 percent control rate in the first quarter of 2013, Premier ended with a control rate of 80 percent as of December 31, 2015. For their success in helping patients control high blood pressure, Premier was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts as a Hypertension Control Champion (among 30 public and private healthcare practices and systems across the country).
  • In 2015, Premier ran a pilot project with Exact Sciences for their FIT-DNA test called Cologuard. As part of the pilot, they identified approximately 500 practice patients with insurance coverage from either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans who had refused to be screened for colon cancer. By their calculations, 80 percent of their patients had been screened by December 31, 2015. More than 4,800 additional practice patients were screened as a result of these efforts between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015. Premier was recognized as an honoree for this year’s “80% by 2018” National Achievement Awards by The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.
  • Premier participated in a project focused on completion rates for Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs). These visits have been instrumental in helping them to attain high gap-closure rates on a number of measured quality metrics. They completed AWVs on nearly 70 percent of their Medicare patients in 2015.

“The Acclaim Award recognizes the remarkable efforts of these groups in order to share their innovations and best practices with the healthcare industry,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s president and chief executive officer and AMGA Foundation Board secretary. “The groups honored with this award exemplify the best quality health care in the United States, and the efforts of multispecialty medical groups and other organized systems of care to provide high performance health. Coordinated, value-based care has been the hallmark of AMGA member groups, and programs like the Acclaim Award empower these groups to continue their advanced work to better serve their patients. It is our hope that medical groups throughout the country will learn about the work of these innovators and be inspired to implement similar programs in their medical groups.”

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About Premier Medical Associates
With a focus on building better care, Premier Medical Associates is the largest multi-specialty practice in the Greater Pittsburgh area that reaches the lives of more than 100,000 patients with access to 100 providers and 22 specialties. In a healthcare environment of constant change, the physicians at Premier Medical Associates are committed to preventative care and creating value for every dollar a patient spends on healthcare. Premier’s goal is to build a close, long-term relationship between patient and physician that will reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and lead to healthier lives. Formed in 1993, Premier Medical Associates has a team of 100 healthcare providers in 10 convenient locations offering specialties that include: allergy & immunology, behavioral health, cardiology, dermatology, ear, nose & throat, electrophysiology, family medicine, foot & ankle surgery, gastroenterology, general & breast surgery, hospitalists, infectious disease, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, optometry, pain management, pediatrics, pulmonology, radiology and rheumatology.

About the Acclaim Award
AMGA’s prestigious Acclaim Award honors organizations that are meeting the IOM Aims for Improvement and are taking the necessary steps to become a High-Performing Health System™ as defined by the AMGA. The award highlights the continued research and investigation toward finding the finest models of medical management, coordination of care delivery, and a systemic approach to improving the patient experience.

About AMGA Foundation
AMGA Foundation is AMGA’s nonprofit arm that enables medical groups and other organized systems of care to consistently improve health and health care. AMGA Foundation serves as a catalyst, connector, and collaborator for translating the evidence of what works best in improving health and health care in everyday practice.

About AMGA
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, the association advocates, educates, and empowers its members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of medical groups’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high-quality, cost-effective care. More than 170,000 physicians practice in AMGA’s member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans.

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Candace Herrington
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