FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, June 07, 2010
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
LEAWOOD, Kan. — Today, the American Academy of Family Physicians and its subsidiary, TransforMED, announced the release of a report by the independent evaluation team of TransforMED’s two-year, physician practice redesign initiative titled the National Demonstration Project. The report is published as a series of manuscripts in a special supplement to the May/June 2010 Annals of Family Medicine. The title of the report is "Evaluation of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Patient-Centered Medical Home National Demonstration Project.”The practice redesign initiative, undertaken by TransforMED and funded by the AAFP, ran from June 2006 to May 2008. It was the first and largest “proof-of-concept” project to determine empirically whether the TransforMED Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care could be implemented successfully and sustained in today’s health care environment. More specifically, the project served as a learning lab to gain better insight into the kinds of hands-on technical support family physicians want and need to implement the PCMH model of care.“From the beginning, the national demonstration project was viewed as more of a learning lab than a research or demonstration project,” said Terry McGeeney, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of TransforMED. “The model was changed seven times during the project,” he explained. “When something wasn’t working, we changed it, with the end goal of developing a viable model of care with the tools and resources to support it.” “Recommendations for the patient-centered medical home model will continue to come forth, but the TransforMED NDP achieved what it set out to do,” said AAFP President, Lori Heim, M.D. “The pioneers at TransforMED, as well as the family medicine practices who gave their time and effort to this project, have laid the groundwork for what has become a driving force in practice improvement, as well as in larger health system reform.” The initial findings are what the AAFP and TransforMED expected from the two-year-old study, and are in agreement with what family medicine leaders had predicted — that moving to a patient-centered medical home model of care can be challenging, but given the necessary resources and guidance, it is certainly possible. Both the AAFP and TransforMED received quarterly status updates throughout the project. TransforMED made informed changes to practice interventions and innovations throughout the project based on accumulated learnings. Key learnings, recommendations and ongoing modifications to the TransforMED PCMH model are as follows.
TransforMED also created Delta-Exchange, an online social networking site to address the proven need for additional support through peer-to-peer learning. For a small monthly fee, primary care physicians and their staff can receive targeted support from TransforMED’s expert facilitators and connect with their peers via discussion zones. Members also gain access to a robust repository of tools, resources, case studies and practical how-to articles on practice transformation topics such as implementing team-based care, reducing patient cycle times, change management and maximizing office space. The site also hosts regularly scheduled, live webinars on a variety of PCMH and practice improvement topics ranging from optimized billing and collection to implementing open-access scheduling. Members also can download workflow and procedure forms that can be customized to individual practices. Additionally, four workbooks on practice transformation are currently available. Topics are: a medical home overview, practice leadership, care management and open access scheduling. Several more workbooks, all authored by TransforMED practice enhancement facilitators, are in development.
“Current health care reform legislation clearly demonstrates that the system is willing to support the PCMH,” McGeeney said. “This is evidenced by the multiple payer pilots being conducted with large medical and hospital systems, state and federal government agencies and employers nationwide — all to address the large-scale delivery system.”“So, while the NDP has concluded, TransforMED will continue to draw upon knowledge acquired during the project to offer support and consultation to primary care practices as they face the challenges of becoming patient-centered medical homes,” McGeeney said. “And, perhaps most importantly, the incremental learnings from this landmark project continue to inform current health care reform efforts nationwide.”To date, TransforMED has seen evidence that implementing PCMH components is well worth the time and effort required. At the conclusion of the project, NDP participants from each practice formed a group to enable them to stay in touch and continue learning from one another. The group’s members — who call themselves the Touchstone Group — acknowledge transformation is not easy, but still advocate for the new model and would not be willing to return to pre-NDP ways of practicing medicine.
BACKGROUNDThe TransforMED NDP initiative was an outcome of the 2004 Future of Family Medicine report, and was only one of several steps taken by the AAFP and other family medicine organizations to address the three key focuses of the FFM report: clinical practice, medical education and U.S. health system reform. The FFM report confirmed what many leaders in family medicine already knew — that patients and physicians were becoming increasingly frustrated with the fragmented and complex health care system, and that family physicians needed to change the way they conduct their practices to continue to provide their patients and their communities with the best possible health care. The report called for a dramatic paradigm shift in the way family physicians practice medicine. It called for a model in which patients, not doctors, are center stage. Family medicine leaders predicted that transformation to this new model would be a long and challenging process and that family medicine could not fully succeed without fundamental changes to the larger health care system. The TransforMED NDP selected 36 geographically diverse practices from an applicant field of more than 300, ranging in size from practices with seven or more physicians to solo practices. Eighteen of the practices received facilitation services from TransforMED; the other 18 practices received only limited access to TransforMED resources to assist in their efforts to implement the eight key elements of what is now known as the TransforMED Patient-Centered Medical Home model. Key components are:
The NDP evaluation was funded by the AAFP and the Commonwealth Fund.
About the AAFPFounded in 1947, the AAFP represents 100,300 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 228 million office visits each year — nearly 84 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer Web site, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.FamilyDoctor.org).
About TransforMED The Leawood, Kan.-based TransforMED LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Established in 2005, TransforMED provides ongoing consultation and support to physicians looking to transform their practices to a new model of care that is based on the concept of a patient-centered medical home. TransforMED is an active member of primary care communities and recognizes and supports the unique value that primary care offers to patients and the health care system. TransforMED shares and supports the idealism and altruism of primary care physicians and the strong commitment to their communities and patients through continuing patient relationships and independent decision making. TransforMED offers practices both products and services, including consultation and advice on implementing the new model. To learn more about TransforMED, visit www.transformed.com(www.transformed.com).
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June 7, 2010