The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), a renowned industry leadership group in California, today recognized six physician organizations connected to Sutter Health as leaders in medical care quality.
Nearly 200 physician groups, representing approximately 35,000 physicians who provide care for about 10 million patients, participate in the IHA statewide Pay for Performance (P4P) program. In addition to celebrating top performers, IHA honored physician organizations that demonstrated the most quality improvement from 2011 to 2012. Sutter Medical Network members honored include:
Sacramento/Central Valley Region
- Top Performer and Most Improved – Sutter Gould Medical Foundation, serving San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties
- Top Performer – Sutter Medical Foundation – Sutter Medical Group, serving Sacramento, El Dorado, Solano, Yuba, Placer and Nevada counties, affiliated with the Sutter Medical Foundation
San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area
- Top Performer – Palo Alto Medical Foundation – Mills-Peninsula Division / Mills-Peninsula Medical Group, serving San Mateo county
- Top Performer – Palo Alto Medical Foundation, serving Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Alameda counties
- Top Performer – Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, serving Alameda and Contra Costa counties
- Top Performer – Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation – Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods, serving Sonoma and Lake counties
“We’ve been focused for several years on transforming how we deliver medical care; integrating doctors and hospitals and proactively managing the unique health needs of patients, not just when they need medical attention but before they get sick,” said Jeff Burnich, M.D. senior vice president and executive officer for the Sutter Medical Network. “IHA’s P4P awards help us evaluate and recognize our progress on this long-term goal.”
Sutter Health Network Sees Even Greater Decreases
A study published today in Obstetrics & Gynecology shows that multistate, hospital-based quality improvement programs, including the one piloted for March of Dimes at Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and Sutter Roseville Medical Center, can be remarkably effective at reducing early elective deliveries of babies.
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The rate of elective early term deliveries (i.e., inductions of labor and Cesarean sections without a medical reason), in a group of 25 participating hospitals nationwide, fell significantly from 27.8 percent to 4.8 percent during the one-year study period, an 83 percent decline.
In 2010, Sutter Health implemented a similar program across its Northern California network to reduce the delivery of babies before 39 weeks of pregnancy. Since beginning its program, Sutter has seen a nearly 90 percent drop in early elective deliveries.
The March of Dimes, which partly funded the study, says the reduction of early elective deliveries is good news for moms and babies because newborns delivered before full-term are at increased risk of serious health problems and death in their first year of life.
Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® Reduces Hospitalizations, Health Care Costs
Even with COPD and heart problems, 81-year-old Air Force veteran Edward Fogarty of Rocklin says he leads a fulfilling life thanks to Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM)® program. Now, Sonoma County patients with late-stage chronic illness like Edward can access the same resources and support needed through AIM’s first major expansion in Northern California. The expansion extends access to eligible Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation’s North Division and the Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa patients.
“AIM uses a nurse-led interdisciplinary team to bridge the gaps between the hospital, the community physician’s office, and home for our sickest patients,” said Brad Stuart, M.D., Senior Medical Director for Sutter Care at Home, an affiliate of Sutter Health. “Quality, affordable care for all of our patients is a priority and the expansion of AIM systemwide complements our mission and values. AIM supports giving the right care, at the right time, at the right level of care for the patient’s goals.”
The AIM program provides nurse-led care management, palliative care, and advance care planning for patients with late-stage chronic illness. With a pilot in Sutter Health’s Sacramento Sierra Region showing positive outcomes, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded Sutter Health a three-year, $13 million Health Care Innovation Award to support the expansion of AIM throughout Northern California.