Employer/Physician Collaborative Announces Strategies to Work Together to Improve Patient Care

National Alliance/CAPP report identifies opportunities around care delivery and alternative payment models

To engage employers and other healthcare purchasers and providers in strategic discussions to improve care delivery, outcomes and value, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance) and  the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) collaborated on a series of roundtables across the country during the last several months.  The purpose of the discussions was to help purchasers and physicians share their key priorities in improving behavioral health integration, high value care, and better evaluating care delivery system and physician networks.

It’s rare for employers to communicate with physicians outside of intermediaries such as their consultants and health plans.” — Margaret Rehayem, National Alliance vice president

Through these very valuable discussions, we have identified common pain points like the need for care coordination, a seamless patient experience, and the importance of alternative payment systems to reduce fragmentation and strengthen incentives for high value care,” said Stephen Parodi, MD, CAPP chairman and associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group.

CAPP is a coalition of leading medical groups and health systems including more than 80,000 physicians.

The “Aligning Interests: Opportunities for Purchasers and Physicians to Accelerate Care Delivery, Innovation & Value” report offers employer recommendations and identified opportunities to support improvements in how healthcare is delivered and explored possibilities for accelerating promising alternative payment models to enhance accountability for cost and quality.

These much-needed dialogues are informing physician leaders about what employers want and need and provides us the opportunity to share with them directly the innovations that our groups have developed to alleviate their problems,” said Norman Chenven, vice-chair of CAPP, founding CEO,  Austin Regional Clinic.

“For example, by taking a systems approach to care, CAPP groups have quickly pivoted to telehealth, to delivering care in alternative sites, and to providing a coordinated, connected care experience to manage the pressures of the current COVID pandemic,” said Chenven.

“Bringing together regional coalitions, employers and physician leader, enables stakeholders to actively address challenges, improve patient-centered care and increase the value for an organization’s investment in care,” continued Margaret Rehayem.

Recommended strategies for employers included in the report are:

  • Develop integrated behavioral health models that have a single access point for mental health services and consolidate diverse services to holistically treat patients.
  • Work directly with provider groups to eliminate the need for several vendors and ease delivery of care.
  • Require carriers to provide an action plan to ensure accountability to address waste, fraud and abuse.
  • Adopt alternative payment models that minimize the use of fee-for-service and make provider groups more accountable for cost and quality.
  • Insist on being at the table during contract discussions with carriers — alongside consultants and other intermediaries — paying special attention to contract terms, especially those that limit data sharing and access to actionable data.
  • Determine how telehealth can be scaled with alternative payment models for behavioral health, primary care consultations with specialists, partnerships with safety-net providers in rural and urban areas, and care for patients living beyond in- network service areas.
  • Focus efforts on reaching populations that need additional support, such as young adults and low-income workers.

An earlier report as part of this initiative, “Exploring Employer-Physician Collaborations to Deliver Quality Care,” was released last year. A webinar is also available featuring a discussion around how employers across the country are evaluating care delivery and system performance to improve delivery, access and engagement for employees.

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Council of Accountable Physician PracticesJoe Kimura, MD MPH