Dallas-Area Employers and Local Providers Teaming up with Mercer to Provide Advanced Health Care

  Dallas-Area Employers and Local Providers Teaming up with Mercer to Provide
  Advanced Health Care

  *CareConnect advanced medical home model emphasizes “salient caring”
  *High-performing physicians matched with chronically ill patients

Business Wire

DALLAS -- October 08, 2012

Village Health Partners and HealthTexas Provider Network have collaborated
with local consulting firm Mercer on behalf of employers to successfully
launch a unique, high-quality primary care model catering to individuals with
complex health conditions.

This advanced care program is called CareConnect.Unlike traditional
patient-centered “medical homes” emerging throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth
area, this primary care model matches a very select group of high-performing
physicians with chronically ill patients who require “salient caring” –
intensive, tailored care.

CareConnect is being used by one national employer with large numbers of
employees in Dallas and will be made available to other employers in the
Dallas market. The initiative is based on successful programs piloted in other
parts of the US, results of which were published by Mercer physician adviser
Arnold Milstein, MD, in the policy journal Health Affairs’ blog
(http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2009/10/20/are-higher-value-care-models-replicable/#more-2518).First-year
results were dramatic, with a 20% reduction in cost (net of plan expenses),
15% or greater improvements in physical and mental functioning, and a 45%
reduction in absenteeism.

“The return on investment is remarkable considering that while studies of
other, more traditional patient-centered medical homes have also shown gains
in quality, savings results have been mixed,” said Mercer’s Eric Bassett,
senior partner based in Dallas. “This advanced-care approach is extremely
promising as a way to improve quality of care, health care status and costs.”

“What makes this model so effective is that it is driven by physicians and
nurses chosen specifically for their ability to deliver better care and to
work closely with patients to address their concerns in a highly caring
manner. As a result, the care the patients receive through CareConnect from a
select panel of primary care physicians is characterized by what has been
called ‘salient caring’,” said Neil Smithline, MD, a Mercer physician
consultant who has been instrumental in developing the program.

This is because members of the care team – the patient’s primary care
physician and a dedicated personal care nurse who works alongside the
physician – are chosen because of their ability to provide not only
high-quality medical care, but also because they provide the patient with
“extra caring”.

“This ‘extra caring’ means being accessible to the patient – through extended
evening and weekend hours and ‘virtually’ via online access. It means using a
physician-led team of health care providers to coordinate the care of patients
to achieve high-quality outcomes at reasonable costs,” added Christopher Crow
MD, founder of Village Health Partners.

Major employers are seeking newer and better approaches to caring for their
employees with complex or multiple health conditions. Mercer worked with the
employer with a large presence in the Dallas area to identify its employees
with chronic health conditions. The CareConnect providers Village Health
Partners and the HealthTexas Provider Network (HTPN) approached this group of
employees to participate in the program, and roughly 40 percent have agreed to
do so. Employees must change primary care physicians in some cases, but the
primary care physician fee may be waived as one incentive to participation.

CareConnect also dramatically changes physician compensation.Physicians are
rewarded for excellent results and for spending additional time with their
patients. They are paid an additional fee for the extra care coordination
required. They also have the opportunity to receive additional compensation
for demonstrated improvement in patient health outcomes.

"Providing new resources and new incentives to mature primary care practices
allows them to better serve the most at-risk patients while creating the value
we need from our health care system,” said Cliff Fulerton, MD, Chief Quality
Officer for HTPN.

About Mercer

Mercer is a global leader in human resource consulting and related services.
The firm works with clients to solve their most complex human capital issues
by designing and helping manage health, retirement and other benefits.
Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. Mercer is a
wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global
team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions
in the areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 52,000 employees
worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $10 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies
is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and
risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and
reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in
management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow
Mercer on Twitter @MercerInsights.

About HealthTexas Provider Network

Founded in 1994, HealthTexas Provider Network (HTPN) was formed as an
innovative partnership between a physician group and Baylor Health Care System
(BHCS), one of the largest hospital systems in our market. By aligning
ourselves with a common vision, HTPN and BHCS have emerged as one of the
premier physician-hospital alliances in the nation.

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, HealthTexas is a multi-specialty medical group
that employs over 580 physicians practicing in 183 care delivery sites in the
North Texas area. This medical group practice is comprised of 66 primary care
centers, 119 specialty care centers including 9 physiatric medicine centers, 7
hospitalist programs, 3 pulmonary critical care units, 12 liver disease
outreach centers, 3 senior health centers, 21 cardiovascular care sites, 13
liver health outreach programs, 1 Kidney outreach program, 1 heart failure
center and a family practice residency program. In FY12 HealthTexas reported
1.7 million patient visits, and $615 million in gross charges making them one
of the leading medical groups in the nation. HealthTexas was named a 2011
American Medical Group Association (AMGA) Acclaim Award Honoree. In 2010
HealthTexas was awarded AMGA's Medical Group Preeminence Award.

About Village Health Partners

Founded in 2003, Village Health Partners is a nationally-recognized family
medical practice with two locations in Plano, Texas. Village Health Partners
focuses on the quality, access and convenience of care for its patients. The
practice uses health information technology such as Electronic Medical Records
(EMR), secure e-mail access with doctors and a convenient online portal for
patients to request same day appointments and prescription refills. Village
Health Partners and its physicians have been recognized by Congress for their
efforts to improve healthcare and have received numerous awards including
"Practice of the Year," by Physicians Practice, The Davies Award by the
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Village Health
Partners was the first practice in North Texas to achieve the National Center
for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) Patient Centered Medical Home Certification as
well as Excellence in Diabetes Care. The practice has been repeatedly
recognized for Best Doctors in Family Medicine by D Magazine and Texas
Monthly. To learn more visit www.villagehealthpartners.com.

Contact:

Mercer
Stephanie L. Poe, +1-202-331-5210
stephanie.poe@mercer.com
 
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