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CAPP Urges Healthcare Reform Efforts to Maintain Focus on Quality and Safety Leading Medical Groups

Recommend Emphasis on Healthcare Delivery System Changes to Improve Care, Lower Overall Costs

As the “repeal or replace” debate over the structure of America’s healthcare system continues, the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) urges decisionmakers to focus on healthcare delivery initiatives that are improving patient care, reducing medical errors and lowering the overall cost of healthcare.

“In the debate over healthcare reform, we must not ignore the importance of improving how healthcare services are organized and delivered,” noted Robert Pearl, M.D., Chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, a coalition of high-performing multi-specialty medical groups and health systems, as well as CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the MidAtlantic Permanente Medical Group.

“If we do not continue to emphasize the need for care initiatives that promote physician-led, value-based, patient-centered, technologically-enabled care, we will lose ground in quality, innovation and outcomes that lower the cost of healthcare, while making it more available and convenient to patients. The consequences of inaction for our patients, their communities and the nation are significant.”

The foundation of healthcare delivery improvement rests on changes in payment incentives to providers, who instead of being paid fees for every service (the “fee-for-service” payment model), are now increasingly paid based on outcomes and performance. Innovations like electronic medical records and digital communications between healthcare teams, video visits with doctors, access to data to determine if patients are at risk, and improvements in preventive services are being adopted more rapidly to achieve better patient care and outcomes.

Pearl notes, “The CAPP medical groups are pioneers in linking physicians and patients with technology and digital communication, in delivering coordinated, connected care, and in forging patient/physician relationships that are both high touch and high tech. Physician leadership is behind all these improvements, ensuring that the welfare of the patient is first and foremost. When these enhancements are in place, patients get higher quality, faster care, medical errors are reduced, and better clinical decisions are made because information is available in real-time to all members of the team. “

CAPP physician leaders recommend:

  • Accelerated movement toward value-based payment for healthcare.
  • More widespread and coordinated use of health information technology so that care teams can access information related to patients’ health and treatment anywhere and anytime.
  • Simplification and standardization of quality measurement and reporting so that patients can identify healthcare providers with the best clinical outcomes.

These high performers can then help others to match their success and raise the national level of performance.

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Robert Pearl, M.D., Urges a New Approach to Create Value-Driven Healthcare

Keynote Speech Cites Physician-Driven Innovation and Technologies to Re-invent Healthcare Delivery

 

Washington, DC – With healthcare now 18 percent of the Gross National Product and climbing each year, Robert Pearl, M.D., keynote speaker for the American Medical Group Association 2016 Institute for Quality Leadership (IQL) conference, underscored the innovative and disruptive thinking needed among physician leaders to transform healthcare delivery and achieve the Triple Aim.

“Economics, not politics, is ultimately the most powerful driving force in healthcare today,” noted Pearl, who is chairman of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), a coalition of high-performing multi-specialty medical groups and health systems, as well as CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “If we change the structure, modify how care is reimbursed, and embrace 21st century technology, we can improve quality and access, while at the same time lowering the cost of healthcare delivery overall.

“For example, through capitated payments, financial incentives will reward keeping people healthy, encourage prevention, maximize patient safety, and lead physicians to diagnose sooner and treat more effectively,” he said.

During his presentation, Dr. Pearl noted that attempts to change the healthcare cost equation in the past focused on reducing access to care, rationing medical care or reducing provider payment. None have proven effective, and all decrease quality and patient satisfaction. He supports the movement towards payment based on value, rather than volume, and recommends that the nation stay the course.

As part of the shift, he outlined various opportunities for clinical and operational improvements. Examples included approaches to reduce the time between surgeries and ways to minimize hospital care delays over weekend days. Dr. Pearl cited the success of the various CAPP medical groups in implementing digital communications and electronic connectivity as the types of innovations that have lowered operating costs across multiple sectors when implemented through large, physician-led multi-specialty medical groups. Similar innovative applications need to be widespread in health care in order to flatten the trajectory of health care inflation across the entire nation.

Dr. Pearl cited three specific technologies that are changing the way healthcare is delivered, including improving quality while reducing cost:

  • Video and digital photography that enable physicians to diagnose patients remotely and secure appropriate care immediately. One example of this technology in action is the use of video consultation with a neurologist to quickly evaluate a patient in the emergency department who might be having a stroke. This practice has already reduced the time for a patient to receive appropriate treatment by 50 percent.
  • Data analytics that can identify groups of patients and individuals who are at risk for specific conditions, or who require additional care.
  • Use of the electronic medical record not just as a repository of data, but as a communication tool between healthcare providers. This technology enables the best patient care decisions to be made at every point in the care continuum.

“When payment is tied to patient outcomes, and the re-engineering of healthcare delivery is led by physicians, we will see a reduction in the inefficient fragmentation that is so costly today, and improvement in the quality of care that patients receive,” concluded Dr. Pearl.

For information on patients’ experience of coordinated care and the use of technology with their doctors, see results from two Nielsen Strategic Health Perspective Surveys from 2015 and 2016, sponsored by CAPP.

Browse the pages of this site for more information on accountable care. To learn more about physician leadership in the work to achieve accountable care, and to receive updates on key health care issues, follow CAPP on Twitter at: @accountableDOCS.

CAPP Leaders Discuss How They Develop Physician Leaders at Washington, DC, Colloquium

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices partnered with CAPG — a trade association that promotes accountable care — to host a panel at the CAPG Colloquium held in Washington DC, on September 29, 2016.

The panel, “Physician Leadership in the Movement Toward Accountable Care,” featured four CAPP medical group leaders who discussed best practices for recruiting, training and developing physician leaders.

The panelists represented a diverse range of medical groups in size, geography and model. The panelists were Dr. Marc Klau, Southern California Permanente Medical Group; Dr. Philip Oravetz, Ochsner Health System; Dr. Lee Sacks, Advocate Physician Partners; and Dr. Nick Wolter, The Billings Clinic. Dr. Robert Pearl, Chairman of CAPP and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, served as the panel moderator.

“It will not be possible to move the country toward accountable, value-based care without strong physician leadership at all levels of the organization,” said Dr. Pearl. “Healthcare systems should view physician leadership as a capital investment for the future with huge ROI. The CAPP medical groups are committed to sharing their considerable experience to help all provider organizations face the challenges ahead.”

Development starts at recruitment
Over the course of the discussion, the panel touched on key aspects of their physician leadership development approaches. All agreed that leadership development starts at the moment of recruitment into the organization. “Every physician is a leader. We start with that assumption,” said Dr. Klau. “Take every physician on as a leader and then expand their capability, because you never know when you will need them.“

Dr. XX speaking at the CAPG colloquium.
CAPG CEO Don Crane introduces the CAPP leaders and the importance of physician leadership to move the needle on accountable care.

 

Each of the medical groups has their own leadership training programs that have evolved over the years. Ochsner Health System, for example, has several tiers of leadership training that are designed to match physicians with their age and career experience. “We believe every physician is a leader by definition, but some exhibit their ability to lead more than others, or earlier in their career,” said Dr. Oravetz. “Our program exposes these folks to what a management career might look like.”

Regardless of the specifics of the training and development programs, the panelists overwhelmingly agreed that two critical traits for physician leaders are emotional intelligence and proven clinical excellence. “The best leaders are going to be visionary but anchored in reality,” said Dr. Klau.

“Self awareness is important to put on the table. What’s your humility? How do you develop people to create trust that’s necessary for good teamwork?” said Dr. Wolter.

Physician leadership as a strategy
Dr. Wolter stressed that physician leadership development should be considered outside of health care system payment as a strategy to improve care quality and patient outcomes. “No matter how the payment system evolves, if you leverage team care and leadership, that’s going to lead to better outcomes.”

Dr. Sacks agreed, saying that his group places leadership development at a premium. “It’s about improving care. The finances will follow,” he said. “Focus on what really resonates, which is improving outcomes.”

Following the discussion, the CAPG audience posed questions to the panel about the how-to’s of physician leadership development. The panelists agreed that physicians who aspire to lead their health system should start small. They mentioned that emerging physician leaders could join clinical improvement committees or attend the first stage of a leadership program as ways to determine if the track is right for them.

The panel was comprised of four of the 11 medical groups that contributed their case studies to CAPP’s five-part journal series about physician leadership development, which was published in the journal Healthcare: Delivery Science Innovation. The articles can be read in full here.

Medical group leaders gathered to discuss physician leadership at the recent CAPG Colloquium.
CAPP medical group leaders gathered to discuss physician leadership at the recent CAPG Colloquium.

 

Photos courtesy of Thomas Van Veen of Documentary Associates

Achieving Physician Leadership in Changing Times: A Call to Action

By Laura Fegraus, Executive Director, Council of Accountable Physician Practices

In the dynamic and often complicated movement towards “accountable care,” the need for dedicated and skilled physician leaders has never been greater. Physician executives at CAPP’s progressive multi-specialty medical groups recently pooled their collective insights, experience and advice on building physician leaders in a five-article series on this topic, published as a special edition in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation. The open-access articles are now available for sharing through this link.

Recognizing the shortage of “how to” guidance on physician-leadership development, this series addresses the specifics of building physician-leadership capacity within a medical group or health system. Through detailed case studies of their organizations’ efforts, the series’ authors present creative and proven ideas to recruit, train, and develop physician leaders within medical groups and health systems.

The introduction to this series, “Physician Leadership in Changing Times,” is a compelling call to action from physician leaders, Jack Cochran, M.D., formerly of The Permanente Federation; Gary S. Kaplan, M.D., Virginia Mason Medical Center; and Robert E. Nesse, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System.

The authors discuss the history of the accountability movement from its inception with the 2001 release of the Institute of Medicine’s report on Crossing the Quality Chasm. Since then, there has been growing recognition that high-quality, high-value health care cannot be achieved through the uncoordinated actions of individual physicians and other healthcare providers serving the interests of individual patients, one at a time.* Instead, physicians must lead all stakeholders in the healthcare system to work together toward a broader vision of improved patient care experiences, better population health, and lower costs, otherwise known as the “Triple Aim.”**

The remaining four articles in the series detail the “how-to’s” of recruiting, retaining, and supporting robust physician leadership inside of our CAPP groups — including reflections on how to maintain organizational focus on this important cultural component during times of transition. Readers of this series will hear from organizations like Billings Clinic, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Advocate, Henry Ford Health System, Ochsner Health, Intermountain, and HealthCare Partners that have successfully maintained and fostered their commitment to physician leadership, regardless of organizational setting or environmental context.

The multi-specialty medical groups that belong to the Council of Accountable Physician Practices are committed to nurturing the next generation of physician leaders, and are dedicated to sharing their best practices and learnings with other healthcare stakeholders. Effective and patient-centered delivery system change will be optimized by physicians leading and shaping the healthcare delivery organizations of the future.

To read the entire series introduction, please click here.


* Institute of Medicine. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2001.
** Berwick D, Nolan T, Whittington J. The triple aim: care, health, and cost. Health Aff.2008;27(3):759–769.

CAPP Health Care Primer: What Candidates Need to Know

By Robert Pearl, MD, Chair, Council of Accountable Physician Practices

With thousands of political offices up for election this November, health care will continue to be a complex and frequently debated issue.  To help focus discussions, the Council of Accountable Physician Practices has produced an original primer, “What Every Candidate Should Know About Health Care.” This primer is for candidates running for local and national elected office and details the most critical health reform topics they must understand to ultimately improve the medical care their constituents receive.

The three primary issues highlighted in “What Every Candidate Should Know About Health Care” are:

  1. Payment system reform to enable acceleration of the move towards value-based payment and away from the current volume-based fee-for-service model, aligning incentives to reward better patient outcomes, safety and efficiency.
  2. Expanded use of health information technology so care providers always have the information they need to make the best care decisions.
  3. Consistent and meaningful quality measurements to accurately identify high-performing medical groups and health systems.

By bringing these healthcare issues into the political discourse, the leaders of CAPP believe they can educate and inform elected politicians on the accountable approaches that produce the highest quality and best health outcomes for patients.

We encourage you to read and share “What Every Candidate Should Know About Health Care”  and send us feedback on twitter @accountableDOCS.

 

New Brandeis Study: Medical Groups That Take On Risk Show Success in Quality, Care Management

The American Journal of Managed Care recently published a second round of research sponsored by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) on the prevalence and magnitude of capitation and other alternative payment contracts among CAPP’s organized physician groups.

“Risk Contracting and Operational Capabilities in Large Medical Groups During National Healthcare Reform” represents CAPP’s ongoing commitment to promoting the benefits of outcomes-based payments, one of our five pillars.

CAPP partnered with Brandeis researchers Robert Mechanic and Darren Zinner in 2011 to launch a longitudinal study. The focus of the research is to gauge the incidence of alternative payment contracts among CAPP groups, understand these groups’ previous experience with managing risk, and to define the approaches to physician compensation utilized by these groups. This published report is the second round of research conducted.

“This is one of the only published analyses examining payment and contracting practices for a variety of organizations across the full range of their payers. This allows us to better assess the relationship between contracting structures and organizational practices likely to positively impact performance” said Mechanic.

Twenty-two CAPP groups have participated in the survey’s second round, as well as 11 member groups of the Group Practice Improvement Network. The survey asked for information about quality and cost management programs, risk contracting, physician compensation changes and other factors to evaluate risk-based payment models.

According to survey findings, medical groups that received a high portion of revenue from risk contracts were able to more successfully implement advanced programs to avoid hospitalizations and provide care management. It also found that these groups placed greater emphasis on quality and patient experience in their physician compensation models and relatively less on the amount of care provided.

“Groups that had a higher proportion of risk contracts generally had physician compensation models with more emphasis on quality, patient experience and performance, compared to groups in fee-for-service models,” said Mechanic.

He predicted that future rounds of this survey would show a slow and steady movement toward alternative payment models. “Taking on risk is not easy or straightforward, so you really have to have an organization that believes in managing care and physicians that buy into the culture,” he said.

“The Brandeis findings are clear evidence that risk-based payment models allow physicians and medical groups to focus on the patient and their needs, not just on a bottom line,” said Laura Fegraus, Executive Director of CAPP. “CAPP is excited to be a part of this ongoing project to track payment reform progress and provide both current analysis and consistent historical accounting of the “pay-for-value movement.”

A third round of this survey is currently in the field. Results are expected in early 2017.

Read the entire journal article here.

Senator Isakson, CMS, and CAPP at Better Together Health 2016

 

All agree that a more coordinated value-based healthcare system is required to achieve accountable care.

By Laura Fegraus, Executive Director, Council of Accountable Physician Practices

The leaders of the Council of Accountable Physician Practice (CAPP) have long been committed to accountable, physician-led, patient-centered care. It is our belief that neither the quality of American health care nor its cost can be improved without real systemic change. Such change must be completely focused on the needs of both physicians and patients to be sustainable.

Our Better Together Health events, coupled with our annual physician and consumer survey, are designed to highlight the concerns and experiences of both stakeholders as the American health system continues its journey toward accountable care.

Our most recent Better Together Health event was held on June 15 at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, DC. Once again, we announced the results of our annual CAPP-sponsored Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives study. Designed to assess progress in achieving coordinated care, the study surveyed 30,007 U.S. consumers and 626 physicians to understand their experiences related to the hallmarks of accountable care: care team coordination, prevention, 24/7 access, evidence-based medicine, and use of robust information technology.

Mixed results

The survey results were both promising and concerning: The use of care teams and care coordination is improving. However, it appears that technology and 24/7 access to care is still not widely available. In addition, preventive primary care is critically lacking.

“This survey is evidence of the failure of American health care to provide coordinated, technologically enabled, high-quality care to the majority of people,” said Robert Pearl, MD, chairman and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group and chairman of CAPP. “While it is encouraging that the use of care teams and care coordination seem to be increasing, access and the effective use of technology still need improvement, and tactics that help to prevent illness are still woefully ineffective.”

Following the release of the survey results, policy makers, patient advocates, and medical group and health system leaders convened to discuss meaningful healthcare delivery reform at “Better Together Health 2016: Patient Expectations and the Accountability Gap.” The event was sponsored by CAPP and the Bipartisan Policy Center. The town-hall format of the meeting featured patient videos demonstrating the benefit of integrated care delivery at Southern California Permanente Medical Group and at Billings Clinic, both CAPP member groups.

Sen. John Hardy Isakson (R-GA) speaking at the Better Together Health 2016 event recently in Washington, DC.
Sen. John Hardy Isakson (R-GA) speaking at the Better Together Health 2016 event recently in Washington, DC.

 

Sen. John Hardy Isakson (R-GA), co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee’s Chronic Care Solutions working group, served as a featured speaker. Tim Gronniger, deputy chief of staff and director of delivery system reform at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also spoke. Both shared strong support for moving our healthcare system toward a more coordinated, value-based healthcare system. The panel discussion was moderated by Ceci Connolly, CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

Patient stories

The first patient story featured Jenny, a Billings, MT high school teacher who underwent bariatric surgery after a lifelong battle with obesity. Dr. Karen Cabell, director of quality and patient safety at the Billings Clinic, explained how system-ness and integrated, patient-centered care supported Jenny to reach a positive outcome.

“To us, system-ness means having an integrated medical practice where it is the expectation that all of the physicians, nurses and other members of the team coordinate together and communicate with each other on behalf of the patient,” said Dr. Cabell. “The patient is part of that multi-disciplinary team.”

The event’s second story featured Jesus, a food services professional and father of three, who developed severe diabetes resulting from poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Dr. Marc Klau discussed how the Southern California Permanente Medical Group’s Diabetes Complete Care program helped Jesus overcome his chronic condition.

“It’s the best of all worlds,” said Dr. Klau. “You have a team, you activate the patient with resources and then behind it you have this high tech technology world that’s constantly monitoring to make sure Jesus gets everything he should be and if he doesn’t, the system activates.”

By bringing together the nation’s leading and most respected healthcare organizations, patient advocates, and policy experts, CAPP’s Better Together Health series seeks to amplify and accelerate the momentum on changing the health care delivery system so that it is patient-centered, integrated, and physician-led. We look forward to continuing this meaningful and relevant conversation at future events, and monitoring the nation’s progress towards true accountability through the two most important voices – the patient and the physician.

The entire webcast of Better Together Health 2016 will be available through mid-summer here.

Nielsen Survey Shows Gaps in How Patients Are Experiencing Accountable Care

 

Care Coordination Improving, Technology and 24/7 Access Not Widely Available, and Preventive Primary Care Critically Lacking

Download the results (.PDF)

View real patient stories

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 15, 2016) – A new Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP)-sponsored Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives survey released today reveals that only half of patients are experiencing the benefits of coordinated care and only about one-third have 24/7 access to care outside of the emergency department. The report also finds sluggish progress in the use of health information technology to connect doctors and patients, and that patients, including those who are obese and at risk for chronic illness, do not report receiving prevention counseling from their physicians.

The 2016 Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives surveyed 30,007 U.S. consumers and 626 physicians. It is the second annual survey that CAPP sponsored to monitor the progress of meaningful healthcare delivery reform and the movement toward accountability.

“This survey is evidence of the failure of American healthcare to provide coordinated, technologically enabled, high-quality healthcare to the majority of people,” said Robert Pearl, M.D., Chairman of CAPP, and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group and the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. “We know that CAPP members, all committed to the multi-specialty medical group model, are best positioned to deliver superior outcomes to the patients they treat. CAPP stands ready to help others improve their care delivery systems, and to work with policymakers to facilitate these changes. These findings reinforce CAPP’s long-held belief that patient-centered care models are critical to closing the gaps between what patients need and what they are currently receiving.”

The survey measured respondents’ experiences with the five patient benefits associated with effective accountable care: care team coordination, prevention, 24/7 access, evidence-based medicine, and patient and physician access to and use of robust information technology.

Data from the survey shows that:

  • Eighty-nine percent of primary care physicians say they often remind patients about preventive screenings, but only 14 percent of patients say they get these reminders. More than two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese, yet only 5 percent of patients report that their physicians recommended a weight-loss program.
  • Only half of patients are experiencing physicians who better know their history, primarily due to the ability to share information through electronic medical records. However, patients with multiple chronic illnesses, who would most benefit from care coordination, receive only slightly more follow-ups and care management as everyone else.
  • Patients’ electronic engagement with physicians is increasing but still low, with 20 to 30 percent of the total surveyed reporting that they have various forms of digital access like online submission of medical questions, email or text reminders. Roughly 44 percent report access to online information, such as appointment scheduling, obtaining lab test results, or viewing information via portals. Older Americans are less likely to want to use digital technology for healthcare, which presents a challenge in fully leveraging this technology to improve care delivery to this population.
  • Only about one-third have 24/7 access to care through their physician’s office other than the emergency room.
  • Sixty-five percent of physicians report using evidence-based guidelines to help determine treatment, with 39 percent of patients recalling discussions on new treatment options.

The leaders of CAPP, a coalition of leading integrated multi-specialty medical groups and health systems across the U.S. have long been committed to accountable, physician-led, patient-centered care. CAPP Executive Director Laura Fegraus said, “Our survey found that while it is encouraging that the use of care teams and care coordination seem to be increasing, access and the effective use of technology still need improvement, and tactics that help to prevent illness are still woefully ineffective.”

patient report cardWhile these results show that delivery system reform is beginning to move in the right direction, the work is far from over. CAPP supports policy initiatives that can expedite performance in accountable care, including payment reform to support “system-ness” and better outcomes; more robust health information technologies to improve sharing of information among providers and easier access by consumers; and standardized quality measures in language consumers can understand.

For more information on the survey findings, click here.

These survey results were presented and discussed today at a joint forum presented by CAPP and the Bipartisan Policy Center: “Better Together Health: Patient Expectations and the Accountability Gap,” held at the Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C.

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New Legislation Aims to Make Telehealth a Broad Reality

By Steven Green, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group
Secretary, Council of Accountable Physician Practices

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) is encouraged and excited by recent movement on Capitol Hill to expand access to telemedicine services in the Medicare program. For example, the CONNECT for Health Act, a bipartisan bill authored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Thune (R-SD) will create new opportunities for Medicare beneficiaries to receive high-quality, convenient care through telehealth. Like many of the medical groups in CAPP, my organization, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (SRSMG), was an early adopter of telemedicine, and we embrace its value, particularly when the technology is applied appropriately, backed by coordinated, organized systems and used to enhance existing patient and physician relationships.

Despite the barriers in regulation and legislation, Sharp-Rees Stealy has moved forward with testing and implementation of novel ways to deliver care via telehealth, including using video visits with our patients. As you can see from Felipe’s story here, the experience for both the patient and our physicians has been remarkable. As noted in this video, we see the potential of telemedicine to expand the capacity of our delivery system to serve our patients more effectively and efficiently while maintaining the high quality care they expect. Removing the barriers that exist with telemedicine will allow more patients to experience from the kind of service and quality that Felipe enjoys.

We know that we have much ground to cover if we hope to bring technologically-enabled care to everyone who needs it. Further improvements in reimbursement for telehealth services will lead to appropriate expansion of these modalities other payers so that accountable, coordinated groups like ours can deliver care to our patients when and where they need it most.

Watch Highlights of the 2015 “Better Together Health” Event

Challenging the Digital Divide Between Patients and Doctors

By Laura Fegraus, Executive Director, Council of Accountable Physician Practices

 

If you’re like most Americans, you make your travel reservations online, do your personal banking online, and use your phone to board a plane.

And if you’re like most Americans, you can’t perform any of those digital transactions with your doctor’s office. You most likely don’t have the option of texting your doctor, making an appointment by e-mail, checking your medical records online, or having a video visit with your doctor when it’s convenient to you.

This digital divide was dramatically revealed in the results of a Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives Survey – “How Americans Use Technology for Healthcare,” sponsored by the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) and the Bipartisan Policy Center, and presented at the “Better Together: High Tech and High Touch – The Patient-Physician Relationship in the New Millennium” event, held in Washington D.C., last November.

Highlights of this event are now available for viewing at bettertogetherhealth.org. CAPP’s Better Together Health event evolved from our desire to raise the voices of two key stakeholders who are often less prominent national discussions on the health care system– patients and physicians. This research, and our event, represented a major step forward toward fulfilling CAPP’s mission to advance the discussion toward truly accountable healthcare. While the media, healthcare marketers and technology companies hold up  technology as the solution to America’s healthcare problems, our 2015 survey results showed that most Americans don’t even get the “old school” phone and mail reminders about appointments. Only two percent have ever experienced a video doctor visit. Even people with complex or chronic illnesses didn’t have much access to the digital tools to help coordinate their care.

Our survey found that the reasons for this lack of access are complicated and multi-factorial. Despite the financial and regulatory barriers that exist to expand the use of telemedicine, the multi-specialty medical groups and integrated systems that are members of CAPP are leading the way — using their long-standing commitment to coordinated, patient-centered care to deliver solutions that are both high- tech and high-touch. Once again, You can see videos about how access to technology has transformed the lives of our patients here.

Meet Felipe, who lost his eyesight and now manages his diabetes through telehealth video consultations, saving him from the tremendous burden of traveling on public transportation across town to see a physician.

Watch Baby Emma recover at home from a burn wound while being monitored by video by her specialist.

Listen to Karen describe how her ten-year treatment for cancer is seamlessly coordinated through technology and her various careteams.

And to Teresa, who now enjoys her active senior lifestyle after a heart problem was resolved conveniently and safely through her tele-connected team of health specialists.

We hope our Better Together Health event  raised awareness of how the appropriate use of technology can improve patient care, reduce stress, and delivery quality outcomes.

This June, in 2016, we intend to continue the conversation as we ask what Americans really expect from their healthcare system.  To get more information about our upcoming events and activities, please visit www.bettertogetherhealth.org to sign up for updates.  We hope you will join us.