Expanding Access

Mills-Peninsula Medical Center Receives Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center Certification

Posted on Jul 1, 2019 in Expanding Access, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Quality, Scroll Images, Uncategorized

BURLINGAME, Calif. – Mills-Peninsula Medical Center (MPMC), part of the Sutter Health not-for-profit network, has received certification as a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center (TSC) from The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

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New Primary Care Office in Antioch Celebrated

Posted on Jun 25, 2019 in Expanding Access, Scroll Images, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

New Space Offers Patients Larger Exam Rooms, Light-Filled Spaces and Beautiful Art

ANTIOCH, Calif. –It’s official: the spacious primary care office that opened in Antioch has been blessed, toured and admired by Sutter Health leaders, East Bay government officials and community members.

As a crowd watched, Jimmy Hu, M.D., Area CEO, East Bay, Sutter Bay Medical Foundation, cut the red ribbon, and Dawn Morrow, a representative from Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis’ office presented a welcome plaque to Dr. Hu and Samuel Santoro, M.D., CEO, Sutter East Bay Medical Group.

Jimmy Hu, M.D., Area CEO, East Bay, Sutter Bay Medical Foundation and Samuel Santoro, M.D., president and CEO, Sutter East Bay Medical Group accept a welcome plaque from Dawn Morrow, district representative for Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis.

“We are proud to show you the space,” said Dr. Hu. “The best thing you can do in an organization is grow, and we know East Contra Costa is expanding and we are here to support the community and provide excellent care.”

About 100 people attended the mixer on June 13 that was organized by Sutter Health, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation (SEBMF) and the regional Chambers of Commerce including Antioch, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Oakley, Pittsburg, Rio Vista and West Pittsburg.

Dr. Hu explained to the gathering that a gift from Better Health East Bay, a philanthropic group in the Sutter Health network, enabled SEBMF to renovate almost 13,000 square feet on the second floor of the care center at 4053 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. After months of construction, the expansion was completed in April and the primary care doctors and their staff moved from cramped quarters on the first floor to newly designed modern offices on the second floor.

“We are proud to be here, and proud to show off the new digs,” Dr. Santoro added. “State of the art, 21st century health care is being delivered right here.”

He told the crowd: “Our Sutter values are safe, personal, affordable and accessible health care. We have an obligation to you to deliver on that promise.”

The attendees mingled and nibbled on appetizers as a DJ played various tunes. In addition to Morrow, representatives and local officials attending the event included Tito Ramos from Rep. Jerry McNerney’s office, Antioch Mayor Sean Wright, Tricia Piquero, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce co-president, and Richard Pagano, Antioch Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The building is a hub for SEBMF since it also has suites that house an Urgent Care, lab, radiology, OB/GYN, neurology, podiatry, urology, cardiology, gastroenterology and general surgery.

The primary care team, including family and internal medicine and pediatricians, is a large one: eight doctors, nine medical assistants, a coordinator, a licensed vocational nurse, a registered nurse and a clinical operations manager.

They are glad to be seeing the patients in larger exam rooms with new equipment and more desks and office space for clinicians. There are 18 exam rooms and a procedure room; the space is filled with light and art, as well as sofas and comfortable chairs.

 

 

‘Black Hawk Down’ Drill Prepares Roseville for Mass Casualty Event

Posted on Jun 19, 2019 in Expanding Access, Quality, Scroll Images, Sutter Roseville Medical Center

Emergency personnel treat and transport a moulaged patient from the Black Hawk “crash.”

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — A military Black Hawk helicopter bringing trauma patients to Sutter Roseville Medical Center was struck by a drone and crash-landed on the SRMC helipad, with about a dozen injured victims crying for help. That was the scenario facing Sutter Roseville’s emergency services team, which partnered with the Roseville and Rocklin fire departments, the Army National Guard and others for an emergency response drill called “Black Hawk Down” on Wednesday, June 19.

Erik Angle, Sutter Roseville’s emergency preparedness coordinator, told Fox 40 during a television interview that it’s important to work with other community agencies and practice these types of scenarios to “know who to talk to and know each other’s protocols and how you would respond so you can work together seamlessly. And that’s critical for any community to have.”

Sutter Roseville registered nurses triage patients at the trauma center entrance.

Sutter Roseville Medical Center is the premier Level II trauma center for a nine-county region that includes the Sierra Nevada and foothills. Victims of fires and other natural disasters and mass-casualty events could be brought to Sutter Roseville for treatment, especially since it is the only Northern California hospital that has a helipad that can support large military-type helicopters like the Black Hawk and even a Chinook.

The backdrop to Wednesday’s drill was the Sutter Roseville construction project that includes an expansion of the hospital’s emergency services, which will double the size and capabilities of the current Emergency Department. Built into that expansion are elements that will be very beneficial during a mass casualty situation, including the ability to convert the new E.D. lobby into a treatment area in a community emergency.

“To practice these (emergency situations) ahead of time is critical,” Angle said. “That way if they do happen in reality, we’ve already worked out all the kinks.”

Already, Angle is planning another community emergency disaster drill early next year to be staged in the new portion of the Emergency Department right before it opens, so that they are well-prepared for any emergency once the new building opens.

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