STAR Pioneers - CHA Practices Achieve Highest Medical Home Rating

July 19, 2016   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Pediatrics , OHA PCPCH
Dawn Creach

What does healthcare transformation really mean? What does high quality health care look like? Since 2011 Oregon’s Patient-Centered Primary Care Home Program (PCPCH) has facilitated changes in the way care is delivered at more than 600 primary care practices in Oregon. In 2014 the PCPCH Program released a new set of standards, called Tier 3 STAR, to recognize exceptional practices that have truly transformed into advanced medical homes. To date, only seven practices in Oregon have achieved the STAR criteria, which must be verified with an on-site audit by state officials.

At a time when people often lament that “private medical practice is dying,” it is noteworthy that all seven STAR practices are independent, and five of those are pediatric clinics and members of the Children’s Health Alliance and Children’s Health Foundation:

Childhood Health Associates of Salem

Metropolitan Pediatrics - Gresham

Metropolitan Pediatrics - Happy Valley

Metropolitan Pediatrics - Northwest

Metropolitan Pediatrics – Westside

The Children’s Health Alliance and Foundation supports member practices through pioneering quality improvement programs and medical home support, transparent quality measurement and accountability, and progressive contracting and strategic alignment.

A STAR pediatric practice is no ordinary primary care clinic. Over a period of many years, they’ve adopted innovative ways to provide better care for their patients and families including integrated psychologists, same-day, evening and weekend appointments, enhanced care coordination, and a family advisory committee to provide input on quality improvement efforts. Metropolitan Pediatrics was the first pediatric group to achieve the STAR criteria, and recently Childhood Health Associates of Salem also received the state’s highest quality rating for their unrelenting pursuit of primary care excellence.

Oregon’s STAR practices are leading the way toward the Triple Aim of improved health, improved patient experience, and controlled total cost of care. As independent practices, these pediatricians are investing in building comprehensive care teams and adopting new population health management technology, often with little or no extra payment from health insurers. In fact, a new report to the Oregon legislature revealed that prominent commercial carriers spend, on average, only 9% of their total medical spending on primary care. The state’s Medicaid insurers, Coordinated Care Organizations, spend 13% on average.

The report was mandated by senate bill 231, passed in the 2015 legislative session, which also required the Oregon Health Authority to convene a primary care payment reform collaborative to develop recommendations for directing greater resources to ensure Oregon has a strong primary care infrastructure2. All eyes are on this influential group, which meets monthly through September

About the Children’s Health Alliance and Children’s Health Foundation

Dawn Creach, MS is the Program Manager for Medical Home Delivery & Innovation at the Children’s Health Alliance and Children’s Health Foundation. Dawn supports a variety of quality improvement initiatives within CHA, and brings a diverse background in research and evaluation, project management, practice coaching, and significant expertise in the Patient-Centered Medical Home/PCPCH model.

Prior to joining CHA, Dawn worked for the Oregon Health Authority’s PCPCH Program as the lead for technical assistance, site visits, and communications. Previously, she worked at OHSU on various community-based research projects, and directed the evaluation of one of the country’s first national medical home demonstration projects. More recently, Dawn worked with Multnomah County on a strategic plan to integrate behavioral health and primary care, and at the Oregon Pediatric Society as the START (Screening Tools And Referral Training) project manager. Dawn has traveled extensively around Oregon and the country studying innovative medical homes and is passionate about improving healthcare.

Dawn holds a Master of Science in Sociology and a certificate in Project Management from Portland State University, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Carroll College in Montana.

Content from this blog was derived from the existing Children's Health Alliance May 31, 2016 press release.