When VHAN patients obtain care outside the network, the opportunity to impact the cost and quality of that work is diminished if not eliminated. In addition to maintaining consistent care, we should strive to create more access points for patients to get precisely the care they need, including telehealth and virtual options where appropriate.
Access is a key priority for the network, and in 2020 VHAN met or exceeded its access goals, including:
- In-network primary care (Goal 70.8%; Measurement 78.8%)
- Specialist utilization (Goal 74.6%; Measurement 78.1%)
- Hospitalization (Goal 88%; Measurement 89.7%)
We also built and delivered leakage reports for practices to show the rate of patients seeking care outside of the network. Members of the Physician Leadership Council (PLC) reviewed the reports and plan to identify additional strategic recruitment opportunities to improve access.
Here’s one example of how VHAN members are working hard to improve access through innovation:
When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) faced the same dilemma as healthcare organizations all across the country. They needed to launch a telehealth program, and they needed to do it quickly.
WTH leaders immediately formed a Telehealth Governance Council made up of clinicians, clinic directors, nurses and administrators to develop a solution for the entire enterprise. They tapped VHAN resources for training on key issues such as coding and risk stratification. And in record time, they increased their frequency of telehealth visits by more than 1,300%.