In 2015, Mercy Health (Cincinnati, OH) and Summa Health (Akron, OH) formed one of the largest clinically integrated networks (CINs) in Ohio, Advanced Health Select, to enhance chronic care management and lower the total cost of care for patients in Ohio and Kentucky. Their respective ACOs were the first networks to join the CIN, linking 2,800 providers. The CIN has since expanded to include closer to 3,500 providers. We were pleased to host two leaders from these health systems on a recent webinar: J.D. Whitlock, VP of Enterprise Intelligence at Mercy Health and Ellen Smith, VP of Business Development & Access at Summa Health. Here were some of the top takeaways:
- Don’t underestimate the level of change management involved - forming and operationalizing a CIN is a big undertaking that requires significant cultural change. This is one of the many reasons it’s critical to have strong, engaged physician leadership in a CIN.
- Identify and engage key stakeholders - in addition to strong physician leadership, it’s imperative to engage your legal department early on as you form the CIN. There are many legal considerations around CINs and the sooner you engage your legal team, the better.
- Have a patient access roadmap - optimizing patient access is a journey, not something anyone can do overnight. Define a vision and map out how you’re going to get there, making sure to engage key stakeholders as you craft and execute on the different phases of the plan.
- Know what the patient experience you’re striving for looks like - set standards around the patient experience and what you want your brand to represent to patients. Determine how you’ll measure the degree to which you’re delivering on your brand promise.
- Don’t forget the importance of the provider experience too - effective provider engagement is key to any CIN’s effectiveness. For Summa Health, hiring a Medical Director to partner with Ellen was a key step in setting the organization up for success.
- Leverage technology to support your goals - take a broad look at IT solutions that can support access to care in the CIN - beyond your EHR. Telemedicine and online scheduling are two key examples Ellen gave of solutions that enable online experiences that improve access.
- When times get tough, get creative - as with any major endeavour, forming and managing a CIN requires commitment and effective problem-solving. Have an open dialogue with the other stakeholders in your CIN and be willing to learn from your colleagues.
Want more insights but missed the live webinar? No worries! Watch the on-demand version here.