Higher quality, coordinated patient care at a lower cost: the premise of a clinically integrated network (CIN) is simple to understand. However, actually operationalizing a CIN is not quite so simple. Effectively building and running a CIN requires careful planning and close coordination among participating entities. It also requires a solid strategy for managing patient access and demand distribution, as well as provider engagement, to ensure patients can reap the benefits of the broader network.

In 2015, Mercy Health (Cincinnati, OH) and Summa Health (Akron, OH) formed one of the largest CINs in Ohio, Advanced Health Select, to enhance care and lower the total cost of it for patients and communities. Their respective ACOs became the first networks to join the CIN, linking 2,800 providers in Ohio and Kentucky. Since then, the network has expanded to include closer to 3,500 providers. During this webinar, J.D. Whitlock, VP of Enterprise Intelligence at Mercy Health, a key member of the CIN team, reflects on the process and shares key lessons learned along the way. Co-Presenter Ellen Smith, VP of Business Development & Access at Summa Health, then shares her insights on optimizing patient access within a CIN to ensure patients get the care they need, where and when they need it.

You will learn:
  • Key pillars for constructing and operationalizing a CIN
  • The role of technology in managing a CIN effectively
  • Critical success factors for optimizing patient access to care in a CIN


JD Whitlock

J.D. Whitlock 

VP, Enterprise Intelligence, Mercy Health

J.D. joined the leadership team of Mercy Health, the largest nonprofit healthcare system in Ohio, in 2012. In his role as VP of Enterprise Intelligence, he provides strategic and technical direction for Mercy Health’s enterprise intelligence initiatives, including population health analytics, EHR analytics, and enterprise data warehousing. He leads several associated teams at Mercy Health, including the enterprise data warehouse, Epic Clarity & Caboodle, population health, business intelligence, and data management teams. His prior experience includes more than a decade in operational and health information management-related roles with the U.S. Air Force.

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith

VP, Business Development & Access, Summa Health

Ellen joined the leadership team of Summa Health, a 30-location health system serving Northeast Ohio, in 2014. In her role as VP of Business Development & Access, she leads the system-wide business development, physician recruitment, and access center functions. She is responsible for creating a system-wide access strategy including identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing patient and physician access initiatives across entities and sites of care. Ellen has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare. She was formerly Sr. Director of Growth & Business Development at OhioHealth, prior to which she held progressive leadership roles over the course of 18 years at Spectrum Health in MI.

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