TransforMED: Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood continues

 LEAWOOD, Kan. – Health care organizations in eight U.S. communities are beginning the transformation to aPatient-Centered Medical Neighborhood (PCMN) concept of care at kickoff learning collaboratives led byTransforMED, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The eight organizations are the remainder of 15 health systems nationwide to initiate TransforMED training as part of the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s PCMN demonstration project. Organizations kicking off their training programs in February were:

March kickoff learning collaboratives have been conducted with:

TransforMED is a leader in Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) transformation, and medical neighborhood development. TransforMED and its collaborative partners VHA Inc., a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations based in Irving, Texas, and Phytel, a health care IT company based in Dallas, will work to support health care providers in participating communities in the PCMN demonstration project’s quest for improved health outcomes, improved quality of care and reduced costs.

The PCMN concept connects primary care with other community-based health care providers to create a more efficient, coordinated health care delivery network that improves care at a lower cost. By building on proven methodologies and solutions, the PCMN strives to improve and strengthen collaborative relationships among primary care practices and other providers such as hospitals and specialists.

At each kickoff learning collaborative, TransforMED works with respective communities’ primary care practices to develop and implement a PCMH and PCMN training program for local practices. The program incorporates consistent learning and improvement resources that will enable practices in all markets to share resources, results and experiences that promote a rapid and rigorous pace of change.

Initial training collaboratives scheduled for February and March helped participants understand goals, key drivers and upcoming milestones in the three-year project, and described team roles, responsibilities and expectations. TransforMED training curriculum at the kickoff meeting guides development of provider-led care teams and planning for improved access to care.

“Patients expect and deserve care that is safe, reliable and efficient,” said Bruce Bagley, MD, FAAFP, interim president and CEO of TransforMED. “The Patient-Centered Medical Home, operating in a well coordinated and connected medical neighborhood, should go a long way toward eliminating the fragmentation and unnecessary costs that patients now experience.”

Besides improved medical care and total savings of an estimated $49.5 million, a fundamental aim of the collaborative PCMN CMMI project is to enhance the health care workforce, noted Noelle King Whitlow, program director for PCMN at TransforMED. The kickoff learning collaboratives are an important first step for participating health care community and primary care practices, she explained:

“Starting with the new PCMH model of primary care built around patients and delivered by teams, we educate local program participants on the idea of the expanded PCMN that connects primary care to acute-care hospitals, specialists and community health resources, and that increasingly helps patients manage their care proactively.

“These on-site collaboratives are like a retreat for practices and health systems. Not only do they supply a learning opportunity in a collaborative environment; they set up an occasion that allows the entire range of providers in a community to get to know each other and share lessons learned.”