In the days of “no questions asked,” fee-for-service payment, our medical community thrived as a cottage industry, each of us humming along independently, minding our own business. But now with state and national initiatives tying our payment to outcomes, our local “cottages” of care need to recognize one another and benefit from our interdependencies. No individual clinician or practice can alone shoulder the burden of cost and quality improvement for patients. Imagine being accountable for a patient’s outcomes and not knowing where, how or from whom he/she is getting care, or whether his/her other clinicians have the same goals and incentives as you. The missing ingredient is clinical integration, which requires aligning goals and incentives across settings of care, and sharing data and resources to ensure mutual success in promoting better health outcomes. Clinical integration is more than just infrastructure: it creates the culture that recognizes medical professionals’ roles and expertise in delivering appropriate care efficiently.
Why is clinical integration important? Maryland is accelerating the move to linking practice-based care to hospital-based care by “MACRA-tizing” our state’s unique all-payer model through the provision of a growing number of advanced alternative payment models (AAPMs) for physicians to choose from. Maryland AAPMs currently in development provide opportunities for specialists, primary care physicians and hospital-based clinicians to collaborate locally with each other and their hospitals. Physicians are attracted to AAPMs because their participation in an AAPM relieves physicians from the significant reporting burdens of MIPS (merit-based incentive payment system) and provides five percent annual bonus in Medicare payment, in addition to potential further financial rewards from the AAPM itself.
Achieving success in AAPMs depends upon recognizing interdependencies and aligning goals among providers of care. The AAMC Collaborative Care Network (CCN) is your local, physician-led platform that enables our own medical community to share data, resources and AAPM opportunities. The CCN is your clinically integrated network, formed for our own medical community and the patients we serve together.
Currently, the CCN has more than 400 clinician members. Our objectives are:
- AAMC (private and employed) clinicians together taking responsibility for the cost and quality of care for populations;
- Shared responsibility between AAMC clinicians (both private and employed) for the cost and quality of care for populations;
- Better coordination of care across settings and clinicians;
- More effective management of chronic disease by both clinicians and patients;
- Measurable improvement in health outcomes;
- Successful performance in pay-for-value programs;
- Enhanced role satisfaction of clinicians;
- Building a community of practice recognized and preferred by patients.
For more information on the CCN, or to learn how your practice can join, please contact Renee Kilroy at rkilroy@AAHS.org or 443-481-6619.