ATLANTA, Ga. (May 25, 2011)—Bridges to Excellence, a Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) program, has recognized Piedmont Physicians Group as a patient-centered medical home. Piedmont Physicians Group is the first multi-site physician practice group in the United States to receive the distinction from Bridges to Excellence (BTE) Medical Home, with its Diabetes Care and Hypertension Care Recognition Programs receiving particularly high marks. The Medical Home designation is a validation of the success of Georgia’s first accountable care organization (ACO), conceived by CIGNA and Piedmont less than a year ago.
“Quality can be a difficult thing to measure in healthcare,” said James Sams, M.D., medical director of Piedmont Physicians Group. “Recognition from Bridges to Excellence has been one of our goals since the inception of our accountable care organization practice model. Being the first multi-site group in the country recognized by this organization as a Medical Home helps validate Piedmont Physicians Group’s position as a primary care center of excellence.”
BTE Recognition Programs are based on nationally accepted quality measures that are most predictive of improved patient health. Clinicians who follow those measures will consistently provide better care at lower costs. Perhaps most importantly, BTE Recognition indicates a superior level of patient care.
Coordination of care is the cornerstone of the medical home concept. A team that includes a clinical care manager, care coordinator and two health coaches has enabled Piedmont Physicians Group to reach many patients with gaps in care and help them get back into the office and under medical supervision. Piedmont Physicians Group proactively manages chronic diseases including diabetes through the use of technology.
“By reducing preventable complications that affect most patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, we can significantly improve the health of patients and reduce costs,” said Francois de Brantes, HCI3 executive director. “We applaud Piedmont Physicians Group for providing coordination of care for their patients by creating a medical home and demonstrating superior outcomes in managing those patients.”
Piedmont Physicians Group and CIGNA launched the pilot ACO in June of 2010. This program includes approximately 14,000 individuals covered by a CIGNA health plan who receive care from one of more than 100 primary care physicians who are members of the Piedmont Physicians Group. With a comprehensive, accountable and collaborative approach to medical care, the pilot is expected to provide better care coordination and improved access. The ACO model is designed to both improve quality and reduce costs with its proactive approach to patient care.
An ACO is a variation on the patient-centered medical home model of health care that rewards primary care doctors for improved outcomes and lower medical costs. CIGNA's program with Piedmont is one of the first patient-centered pilot programs in the Atlanta area involving a medical practice and a single private payer and is the first accountable care organization in Georgia.
For more information on Piedmont Physicians Group, visit piedmontphysicians.org.