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The Path Forward (And A Look Back)

​2018 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year. As we enter March, I want to share a few of our priorities in the physician space and take a look at some of our 2017 accomplishments.

Clinical Excellence

Clinical Excellence is our True North at BayCare. It guides everything we do. We measure clinically excellent care in two ways, each with their own inherent challenges. For the hospitals, we are using Truven and we made huge strides on this front in 2017. We improved our positioning with the Truven performance metrics and focused our organization on the granular details of how best to accomplish this multiyear goal. Though not always smooth in deployment, the results are beginning to speak for themselves, including reaching our lowest readmission rate since 2012!

Beyond Truven, we focus upon publicly-reported measures across the care continuum, as this is how the consumer views clinical quality. With so much focus on the acute care measures last year, some of our publicly-reported measures did not fare as well, while others, such as the ambulatory division of our system, made enormous improvements. All of these efforts align with our organizational goal of being a top 15 health system in the country.

Getting to excellence and remaining at excellence means defining our optimal care standards and improving our adherence to those care standards. Hence, there are major activities around utilization management, documentation improvement, data transparency and local accountability for that care.  The next chapter of BayCare will be to harden these processes and drive efficient and consistently excellent care that can be measured. 

Physician Engagement

Of course, the linchpin to delivering consistently excellent care is you, our practicing physicians. As such, engaging our physicians remains a top priority. We are, and will remain, committed to creating a culture of physician inclusivity, having our executive team round with physicians in the community, and demanding local accountability from our leadership teams to prioritize these efforts. As a result, we moved our physician engagement scores to the 87th percentile nationally!

In 2017, we also evolved from simply looking at improving physician resiliency to a deeper understanding of physician burnout. Although the work had been in our strategic plan all along, and efforts were underway, last year it became a large area of focus as we underscored the concerns in our all-board retreat and elsewhere. As a result, we have redoubled our efforts for 2018 and are well on our way to an actionable plan around physician burnout. 

From assisting our physicians as members of governance, to creating paid medical directorships for our service lines, to maturing our Medical Staff Advisory Council, to evolving our continuing medical education program, to creating a culture of physician inclusivity around all matters relative to clinical care - all of these foundational efforts are essential for us to sustainably deliver great care. 

High-Value Care

BayCare Physician Partners had a great year as we generated shared savings to all of our payors, met all of our contractually-obligated quality goals and increased our physician engagement score by 15%.

We are outperforming the lion’s share of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the nation and continue to mature our capabilities. We revised our strategic plan, moving BayCare Physician Partners into downside risk agreements as a Medicare Shared Savings Track 3 ACO, taking on sizeable downside financial risk. Between our commercial and Medicare relationships, we now control over $1 billion of health care premium spend, with nearly $70 million of downside risk; we are well on our way to value-based care!  A shout-out to the dedicated physician leaders of our BPP board and pod structure for making this happen.

Supporting this work is the maturation of our care management capabilities, relaunching local BPP pod meetings to assure data transparency, local physician engagement around value-based care, and working with our employed physician group to drive operational excellence and efficiencies, all to position us for success.

Additionally, we need to enhance our abilities around evidence-based utilization management and aggressively manage the “medical loss ratio” (MLR) to assure success in our value-based contracting. Clearly, the work needs to continue as we increasingly call upon you to collectively help lower the cost of care while delivering high quality. 

2017 was indeed a year to remember. In so many areas we are becoming a nationally-recognized provider of excellence and are increasingly being referenced by the best systems in America. Our care management and ACO work is recognized as a national best practice and we are repeatedly called upon to do site visits and assist other systems across the nation. Underpinning this are the countless supporting activities that help assist us in these work priorities that the team and I are supporting as we move the needle on our ability to be the best we can be. I’m excited about our progress so far and look forward to all of the opportunities that lie ahead of us to make a difference for the patients of our community. 

The Path Forward (And A Look Back)