Expanding Access

Best Employers in Sacramento? Forbes Ranks Sutter No. 1

Posted on Jun 12, 2019 in Affiliates, Carousel, Expanding Access, People, Quality, Scroll Images, We're Awesome

Sutter Health, with hospitals, medical offices and other care facilities throughout Northern California, is the top-ranked Sacramento-based organization on the Forbes list of top employers.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Employees love working for Sutter Health, according to a new list by Forbes. In its first-ever ranking of America’s best employers by state, Sutter Health was listed as Sacramento’s top locally based employer. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the news, and their story is available here.

Using anonymous surveys, Forbes and market research company Statista pinpointed the organizations liked best by employees, according to the Forbes website.

Sutter Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization in Northern California with 55,000 employees, ranked 26th on California’s list, but took the top spot for employers headquartered in the Sacramento region. Several of the companies listed – including Costco, which is ranked No. 1 in California – are not based in the state. Excluding those employers headquartered out of state, Sutter ranks in the top 20 at No. 17, and is in the top 10 for employers based in Northern California, with such tech giants as H-P, Cisco and Apple.

The Forbes’ list isn’t the only one to rank Sutter organizations as being top-notch employers. During the past 10 years, Modern Healthcare has named several Sutter hospitals and even the entire Sutter Health Valley Area as being Best Places to Work in Healthcare. This year, two hospitals were honored: Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Sutter Amador Hospital.

Sutter Health is more than 60,000 people strong, thanks to our integrated network of clinicians, employees and volunteers. Grounded in our not-for-profit mission, our team members partner to provide access to high quality, affordable care for more than 3 million Northern Californians through our network of hospitals, medical foundations, urgent and walk-in care centers, home health and hospice services.

The full Forbes listing can be accessed here.

Telepsychiatry Bridges Gap to Help Create Better Access to Mental Health Services

Posted on Jun 10, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images

Sean Wade, a registered nurse at Sutter Davis Hospital, demonstrates how a mobile work station allows patients to connect with psychiatrists from around the country. On screen is Tim Jones, telepsychiatry program manager for Sutter Health.

DAVIS, Calif.—Every year, more and more patients experiencing urgent mental health issues come to emergency rooms across California in need of help—just one example of the state’s growing mental health challenges.

To ensure patients are evaluated as soon as possible by a licensed psychiatrist, 16 hospitals across Sutter Health’s not-for-profit, integrated network use a telepsychiatry service that draws on teams of qualified providers from around the country. That includes Sutter Davis Hospital, which has provided this service to around 80 patients since it launched at the hospital about a year ago.

“We were very excited because, with increasing population and mental health challenges, access to psychiatrists was just a must,” says Harpreet Bains, nurse manager for Sutter Davis’ medical/surgical and intensive care units. “Now that we have it, I can only say that it’s working really well.”

Bains points to a number of situations where the telepsychiatry service has helped a patient get the right care at the right time and the right place by providing 24/7 access to providers. Those might include determining if a patient has the mental capacity to make decisions related to their medical care, whether they need an adjustment to their medications or what certain changes in behavior may be indicating. It’s also been helpful with care transitions, she says, such as helping ensure that an elderly patient was ready to transfer from the hospital setting to a nursing home.

“Delivering optimal care to patients during mental health emergencies is a multifaceted challenge,” says John Boyd, Psy.D., CEO of Sutter Mental Health Services. “As healthcare providers, it is our duty to ensure they receive quality, compassionate and timely care, in the most appropriate setting.”

Sutter Mental Health Services works with Virtual Medical Staff, which recruits providers and manages the call center that takes in requests for consultation. The call center has a single number that every hospital uses to access the service. The expectation is that telepsychiatry providers are available within one hour of a request to the call center. All telepsychiatry providers are physicians, hold privileges in each of the Sutter hospitals where the service is available, have the ability to review records, enter notes in Sutter’s medical record system and put in orders.

Using safe and secure video conferencing technology that is also HIPAA compliant, telepsychiatrists can visit with patients 13 years or older via a workstation equipped with a computer screen that can be wheeled into the patient’s room. If the patient is alert and oriented, the nurse then leaves the room to provide additional privacy. If needed, they stay to help facilitate the interaction between patient and provider. Given the prevalence of electronic devices in daily life, patients have been receptive to seeing a psychiatrist this way, Bains said.

“Because of the way it works, they still feel like they’re connecting,” she says. “Seeking mental health services isn’t looked at as taboo anymore—that’s one thing I love, that people have this additional way to talk about the help they need.”

Tim Jones, Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry program manager, explains that extra layer of support broadens access for patients across Sutter’s diverse not-for-profit network, which ranges from the Gold Country foothills through the greater Sacramento area and downward to Silicon Valley.

“We have several rural-area hospitals inside our geographic footprint. In some instances, there are very limited options for psychiatry services or none at all,” Jones said. “But the need for psychiatric care is constant. We worked very hard to identify an option that would treat the whole patient, mind and body, in an acute-care setting.”

The benefits of telepsychaitry haven’t gone unnoticed. The American Psychiatric Association notes the service improves access to mental health evaluations, reduce delays in care and enhance continuity of treatment, since outpatient care is often recommended for patients once they are released from the hospital.

Since Sutter Health’s telepsychiatry program launched, more than 4,200 patients have been received services. For Jones, it’s a sign of progress.

“We believe this is the right thing to do for patients. It can have a very powerful cumulative effect,” he said.

Sutter Health and Alignment Healthcare Team Up in Northern California for Medicare Beneficiaries

Posted on May 14, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images

Not-for-profit health system and Medicare Advantage insurance provider seek to expand access to care and coverage, pending regulatory approval

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Today, Sutter Health, a not-for-profit integrated healthcare system, and Alignment Healthcare, a Medicare Advantage insurance provider, announced the signing of an agreement that allows the two organizations to work together to offer more healthcare and insurance coverage options for Medicare-eligible residents in Northern California in 2020, pending regulatory approval.

Alignment has filed an application with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand its Northern California service area. If the application is approved, Alignment and Sutter would begin offering new Medicare Advantage plans in the approved counties in October 2019 and members could seek “in-network” care with Sutter-affiliated and aligned physicians and facilities on Jan. 1, 2020.

“Sutter has a long history of launching new and innovative healthcare solutions for the benefit of patients and our communities,” said Phil Jackson, Sutter’s CEO of Health Plan Products. “This collaboration is designed to introduce new Medicare Advantage plans for eligible individuals and to help them shop for plans, find affordable coverage, and gain access to high-quality healthcare.”

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private health insurance companies approved by CMS and must cover everything included in traditional Medicare — hospital costs, doctors’ visits and outpatient care. These plans often include extra benefits like prescription drug coverage, vision, dental and hearing exams. Every year, Medicare enrollees can review their health plan options in October and make changes to coverage beginning the following January.

Managed care delivery models such as Medicare Advantage make it easier for healthcare providers to coordinate care and practice preventive medicine, avoiding emergency room visits and more costly treatment plans. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group[1], Medicare Advantage patients pay less in out-of-pocket costs than patients in traditional Medicare and, on average:

  • Are twice as likely to receive preventive care
  • Are half as likely to go to the emergency room
  • Go home from the hospital one day earlier
  • Are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital after discharge, and
  • Use fewer healthcare services, allowing providers to care for others in need

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that approximately 40 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans by 2020.[2] Of the approximately 2 million Medicare-eligible residents in Northern California, an estimated 850,000 are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, according to CMS.

“The collaboration between Sutter Health and Alignment Healthcare is centered on our customers,” said Dawn Maroney, Alignment’s consumer president. “We are coming together to offer Medicare-eligible individuals in Northern California more choice, designing health plan products that will provide access and flexibility for specific population age groups in most of Sutter’s existing service areas in Northern California.”

Founded in 2013, Alignment Healthcare has created a model of healthcare delivery that combines high-touch care coordination with AVA®, its proprietary command center technology, to improve quality of care and eliminate waste in the care system. The central nervous system of Alignment Healthcare, AVA provides real-time reporting and predictive analytics that allow care specialists to anticipate care, often before it’s even needed. Now serving more than 60,000 members across three states, the Orange, Calif.-based company is supported by industry-leading investors and endorsed by influential parties including former CMS administrators and best-in-class hospital systems and health plans.

“Alignment is thrilled about this relationship with Sutter Health,” said John Kao, Alignment Healthcare founder and CEO. “By working together, we have the opportunity to offer more communities more access to care and implement population health strategies that improve care and lead to better health.”

 

[1] https://www.bcg.com/publications/2013/health-care-payers-providers-alternative-payer-models.aspx

[2] https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44205-2015-03-Medicare.pdf

Young Mother Receives Gift of Surgery

Posted on May 14, 2019 in Community Benefit, Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery & Endoscopy Center

SANTA ROSA, Calif. –Nancy Arrango, 35, was legally blind for a decade. When she closed her right eye, she couldn’t see anything out of her left. She had a hard time caring for her children, and she lost her ability to drive and to work. But without health insurance, cataract surgery was out of reach.

Late last year, Sutter Santa Rosa Surgery & Endoscopy Center and Operation Access partnered to give Nancy the Gift of Surgery. Sutter Health collaborates with Operation Access and other community health clinics every year to provide surgeries and procedures for uninsured patients based on their medical condition, health status and financial need.

Today, Nancy has a new lease on life.

Move-In Day is Near for San Francisco’s Newest Medical Office Building

Posted on May 8, 2019 in California Pacific Medical Center, Expanding Access, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Pediatric Care, Scroll Images, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Women's Services

10-story facility integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care

SAN FRANCISCO –Sutter Health today announced the June 3 opening of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation’s (SPMF) Van Ness and Geary medical office building (or MOB) at 1100 Van Ness Ave. The building, owned by Pacific Medical Buildings, is a 10-story, 250,000 sq. ft. facility located across the street from Sutter’s new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital, which opened in March. More than 120 specialty physicians and clinicians from the Sutter Health network will occupy five floors of the building in the heart of San Francisco. The MOB completes the creation of a coordinated medical campus community that integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care.

The new Van Ness and Geary Medical Office Building (MOB) opens its doors on Monday, June 3. This 250,000 sq. ft. building completes a coordinated medical campus community that integrates outpatient services with nearby hospital care.

Physicians and clinicians affiliated with SPMF, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) will occupy five floors. Private physicians will lease space on floors 7-10. Among the practice areas: advanced organ therapy (including transplant services), women’s services, medical and surgical specialty clinics, neurosciences, and cardiovascular services. In addition to a 383-spot underground parking garage, a Walgreens pharmacy is located on the street level. Lab and imaging facilities will be available by July 15. A 125-foot-long, staff-only tunnel connects the MOB with the hospital, completing the new medical campus community.

“Sutter’s Van Ness and Geary medical office building is designed to enhance convenience and access to high-quality care, as well as create an exceptional experience for patients, their families and friends,” said Kelvin Lam, M.D., Interim CEO for SPMF San Francisco and Marin. “The opening of this modern and centrally-located facility adds another world-class, multi-specialty healthcare center to the Sutter portfolio. This medical office building incorporates a powerful healing environment with an integrated continuum of services to support the community for decades to come.”

A truly integrated healthcare network

Sutter’s integrated care model allows patients to access primary care in local neighborhoods and higher level specialty care at the new MOB and at other care centers throughout the Bay Area.  The CPMC Van Ness hospital serves as the hub for all consolidated inpatient facilities and outpatient services. With the completion of the MOB, the campus knits together hospital and emergency services, affiliated medical offices and specialty outpatient services – including convenient underground parking for patients.

The Sutter Health Newborn Connections program will be occupying space on the entry level of the building. From perinatal classes and lactation services to breastfeeding and baby supplies, Newborn Connections provides expecting families with a range of support from pregnancy to parenthood.

“We’ve been looking forward to the ‘birth’ of this vibrant space to provide families with easy access to all of CPMC’s Newborn Connections classes and services,” said Paula Sulkis, supervisor of the Newborn Connections program. “With Sutter’s new CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital located directly across the street, the need for mom, baby and new families to pop in and out of multiple facilities all over town just to make their appointments is eliminated.”

Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the MOB was constructed and operates in an environmentally conscious way.

The building will feature:

  • A reduction of water use by 40 percent with water efficient fixtures
  • An energy reduction of 35 percent through lighting control design
  • A 2-year contract to purchase at least 8 kwh/gsf of green power
  • 25 percent of materials made from recycled content
  • 75 percent of building waste diverted from landfill
  • Certified low-emitting materials used in furniture and no urea formaldehyde in any wood composites
  • Bike parking and storage as well as showers and storage rooms that encourage alternate transportation

By the numbers

  • Planning and design completed in July 2017
  • 250,000 sq. ft. total; 114,000 sq. ft. available for Sutter provider clinics
  • Capacity for 129 providers
  • 20,000 sq. ft. for Ancillary Services, including a lab, imaging and Newborn Connections
  • Six-level, subterranean parking structure, with 383 parking spaces and a staff-only tunnel that connects the building to the CPMC Van Ness Campus hospital

Services Offered

The medical office building features the following services from the Sutter Health Network:

  • Comprehensive neuroscience center
  • Cardiovascular services
  • Maternity and women’s health services
  • General and complex gastroenterology
  • Surgical specialties
  • Outpatient imaging
  • Advanced organ therapies (organ transplant)
  • Women’s ultrasound
  • Outpatient laboratory and imaging
  • Newborn Connections (support and lactation consulting for new parents)

Dinger a Hit as New Sutter Walk-In Care’s First Patient

Posted on May 1, 2019 in Expanding Access, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Medical Foundation

It’s a Whole New Ballgame for Sacramento as New Clinic Brings Healthcare Close to Home

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Baseball mascots need to be in tip-top shape to bust a move, run the bases and get the crowd excited. So the Sacramento River Cats’ mascot, Dinger, went this week to the most convenient location in Sacramento to get a quick physical: the newest Sutter Walk-In Care. (See Dinger’s visit on “Good Day Sacramento” here.)

Dinger poses with the Sutter Walk-In Care staff: (from left) Araceli Navarro, N.P., Keri Nunez, Kelly Foss, Steffany Vilas, Marcy Nieto, Tyla Healton, N.P.

Designed to make staying healthy easier and more convenient, Sutter Health opened its seventh Walk-In Care clinic in the Sacramento area on Tuesday, April 30. Located in the popular Loehmann’s Plaza at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Fulton Avenue, this Sutter Walk-In Care serves an area that has few options for the treatment of everyday illnesses and other health needs. These include youth physicals for sports and summer camps, pre-employment physicals for adults, as well as measles and other vaccinations.

The Walk-In Care clinic is located at 2537 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento, and is the seventh Sutter Walk-In Care in the Valley area. Other clinics are located in Citrus Heights, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and two clinics in Roseville. It will serve residents of Arden-Arcade, East Sacramento and Carmichael.

“These locations offer easy access to treatment for a whole host of needs, whether it’s treating the flu or an ear infection or wellness services like sports or pre-employment physicals,” said Kelly Foss, Sutter Walk-In Care regional manager. “We hope that by providing more convenient access to care, in places where many people are already running their errands, patients won’t put off getting the care they need to stay healthy.”

Sutter Walk-In Care offers an innovative approach to healthcare:

  • Nurse practitioners or physician assistants provide treatment for common illnesses, health screenings, vaccinations and wellness services such as smoking-cessation support.
  • Each location is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, with reduced hours on most major holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only days when Sutter Walk-In Care clinics are closed.
  • Patients can call ahead or visit the Walk-In Care website to save their spot, or simply just walk in to the location.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care locations offer a comfortable lobby with outlets to charge laptops or phones, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi, fruit, coffee, tea and fruit-infused water.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care is available to adults and children 18 months and older – patients do not need to be an existing Sutter Health patient.
  • Sutter Walk-In Care accepts most major insurance plans, and patients would be responsible for their standard co-pay or co-insurance. For those who prefer to pay out of pocket or have not yet met their deductible, pricing is clear and simple, with a standard office visit at a flat rate of $129.

Sutter is committed to creating numerous access points to care. For the past several years, Sutter has explored new ways to meet consumers where they are for their care needs. In addition to the Sutter Walk-in Care locations, other convenient options include Sutter urgent care centers or video visits, in addition to traditional office visits with a primary care doctor within Sutter’s network of care.

Sutter Walk-In Care Nurse Practitioner Tyla Healton checks Dinger’s heartbeat during his physical exam.

With all of these options, sometimes consumers ask which location is most appropriate.  For example, a Sutter Walk-in care visit could help address seasonal allergy needs, while a Sutter urgent care visit could help someone with asthma who is short of breath. For someone suffering from chest pain, an emergency department visit may be best for a patient.

Additional points of access, like Sutter Walk-In Care clinics, also have the potential to relieve pressure on overcrowded emergency rooms.

“We want to reserve emergency departments for complex and life-threatening illnesses, rather than having people with minor medical problems going there because they have no other option,” Foss said. “At the same time, allowing patients to receive non-urgent care and vaccinations quickly, near where they live or work, should help free up doctor-office visits for those with more serious issues.”

While Sutter Walk-In Care provides a wide variety of healthcare services, patients with serious problems or illnesses that require more immediate attention, such as severe cuts or broken bones, should visit an urgent care clinic, or their nearest hospital emergency department.

Additional Sutter Walk-In Care clinics located in the Sacramento Valley:

  • Citrus Heights: 5406 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights, CA 95610
  • El Dorado Hills: 3919 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
  • Elk Grove: 4810 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95758
  • Rancho Cordova: 4040 Sunrise Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
  • Roseville: 4010 Foothills Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747
  • Roseville: 781 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville, CA 95678

And how did Dinger do? Besides being a hit with the staff, Dinger was deemed safe to continue his duties during the River Cats season.

To learn more about Sutter Walk-In Care, please visit www.sutterhealth.org/walk-in or call 1-800-972-5547.