A new way of offering care

January 26, 2017

Washington State has embarked on an ambitious plan, called Healthier Washington, to redesign the health care system in our state so that people are healthier and the cost of health care is more under control. Taking part in this plan requires making some changes to the way care is given and the way providers are reimbursed for treating Medicaid patients.

Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma is testing a demonstration of a new integrated care model that could reach better health outcomes at a lower cost.

The medical center is piloting the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Greater Washington Multi-payer model, through which providers will coordinate care, share data across multiple payers and support providers in adopting value-based payment models. The pilot will run through 2018, and it involves a shift in focus toward wellness and prevention, as well as the use of a team-based caregiving approach, enabling providers to treat the whole patient.

This isn’t the medical center’s first venture into the world of value-based care. Summit Pacific has worked across state lines for the last two years with accountable care organizations, which led hospital leaders to consider a value-based approach to Medicaid. This led Summit Pacific to adopt system-wide use of electronic health records — which it began using at the beginning of the year — and construction of a wellness center that will be completed next year and include physical, occupational and massage therapy, a kitchen for cooking classes, and a suite of other services to keep the Elma community healthy.

The Healthier Washington plan was designed by the state with significant input from a broad variety of stakeholders, including WSHA. Click here to learn more about Healthier Washington. (Tim Pfarr)


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