Authors Document Primary Care Impact

Authors at the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and IPRO have collaborated on an article that examines a three-year $250 million pilot aimed at improving primary care in teaching hospital outpatient departments and other settings. Under the federally-funded pilot that concluded last December, approximately 5,000 physician-in-training were educated on the patient-centered medical home concept, which emphasizes the use of electronic health records (EHRs), quality measure tracking and team-based care management, and is viewed as critical in advancing value-based purchasing in primary care service delivery. Physicians-in-training were required to choose one of four care coordination projects—these focused on coordinating primary and specialty care, integrating physical and behavioral health, enhancing culturally competent care and improving care transitions/medication reconciliation. Participating hospitals were required to restructure EHRs to assure interoperability and to connect to New York’s Statewide Health Information Network. A number of findings from the pilot study were dramatic: programs increased breast cancer screening rates from 47 percent to 60 percent of targeted patients; tobacco use assessments from 70 percent to 86 percent; weight and physical activity assessments for children/adolescents from 58 to 86 percent and nephropathy testing for adult diabetics from 68 percent to 82 percent. The article by Marietta Angelotti, MD, Foster C. Gesten, MD, FACP, and colleagues, “Improving Patient Care and Resident Training in Primary Care Clinics” appears in the Spring 2015 edition of Family Doctor: A Journal of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians. For more information, visit the Academy’s website at www.nysafp.org.