While we know exactly when our new pair of shoes are going to arrive at our house with a click of the mouse, finding out if a patient went and saw a specialist after a referral or picked up their medication and its refills is usually a bit more difficult for primary care physicians.
But a partnership between Austin-based LeadingReach and Catalyst Health Network is enabling physicians to know where their patients are in the care cycle. Catalyst is a network of 650 independent primary care providers and 85 care team members in Texas, and they have employed LeadingReach’s communication network to follow their patients to the tune of $50 million in savings for Catalyst’s ACO in three years on the network.
When the physician knows who a patient has seen or what medication they have picked up, the patient is less likely to fall through the cracks and end up in the hospital needing costly care. The purpose of ACOs is to keep patients away from the most expensive pieces of the healthcare system through quality care coordination. While online shopping and retail have mastered this tracking process, the referral process is done by fax 75 percent of the time, and only 50 percent of patients who receive a referral actually follow through, and the primary care physician is often in the dark without real time communication.
LeadingReach has built the largest HIPAA-secure healthcare communication network in the United States and provides a way for physicians to coordinate care in an efficient and seamless way that works with all electronic health record infrastructure. For a network focused on population health and moving toward value-based care, tracking patients is essential to make sure care is efficiently delivered.
Catalyst President Dr. Chris Crow said the first step was to map the providers and specialists and connect them to the LeadingReach platform so that they could send info back in real time about the status of the patients. The increases data points make care coordination easier, and primary care physicians receive feedback about how long appointments take to get scheduled and whether patients follow through.
“It was clear when we began working with LeadingReach in 2015 that the team thinks differently about healthcare and how to enable value-based delivery models. The answer to solving interoperability isn’t multimillion-dollar system implementations, integrations or propriety decision support algorithms. Instead, Catalyst and LeadingReach have worked together to prove that the right communication tools can empower healthcare teams to help their patients get the care they need and make better decisions about their health,” said Crow via release.
In the future, Crow sees the platform enabling communication about costs and outcomes for different specialists and health systems so that the physicians can make better informed decisions about where to send their patients. When the ACO shared savings arrangement is giving incentive about treating patients and reducing costs along the way, it is essential for organizations to have real time information about costs, quality, and whether patients have gone to their appointments or have taken their medication.
“As value-based care models take center stage, LeadingReach empowers primary care providers (PCPs) with the visibility needed to shepherd their patient’s health journey and ensure the highest quality of care with In-Network providers,” said Curtis Gattis, CEO and co-founder of LeadingReach via release.