What Providence's care (r)evolution means for providers

Douglas A Koekkoek

Doug Koekkoek
Chief executive, Clinical Services
Chief medical officer

Jan. 22, 2014

As 2014 unfolds, Providence will continue to dramatically redefine how we deliver care. We're moving from treating the sick to improving the health of whole communities; from pay-for-service to pay-for-performance; from a collection of hospitals and clinics to a truly integrated network.

In a town hall this past summer, Providence Health & Services Chief Executive Dr. Rod Hochman explained these changes and more as part of the system's two-year strategic plan. The Oregon Region, led by Chief Executive Dave Underriner, followed with a more detailed regional strategic summary, outlined below.

Providence's Mission, Vision and Core Values remain steadfast, but our core focus has shifted from “One ministry committed to excellence” to “Creating healthier communities together.” The way we deliver on that promise requires us, in part, to:

Inspire and develop our people. For providers, this means being as committed to our fellow caregivers' health and wellbeing as we are to our patients. Cultural competence can be practiced with our colleagues as well as with our patients, and we're all accountable for fostering a culture of safety.

Build enduring relationships with consumers. The reference to consumers rather than patients reflects our broader role in health care, which is to improve population health. We aim to interact with people before they're sick, and in a way that serves them best.

Besides meeting our primary goal to deliver outstanding care, we'll also focus more on digital health and on developing community partnerships for health and wellness.

Align clinicians and care teams. There is no intent to move to a closed HMO model, but it's vital that employed and private practice clinicians understand our network so they can help patients move through the continuum of care – from prevention to acute care. For employed specialists, some of this realignment already has taken place. For our primary care providers, it has meant embracing the team-based medical home model.

We'll develop new models of care; engage providers in population health and cultural competence; implement standards for clinical appropriateness, optimize the use of Epic electronic records system and implement a clinical performance improvement plan, which I've outlined in this issue of Pulse.

Develop and thrive under new delivery and economic models. Some of the biggest changes for Providence fall under this category. Within the next two years, our region will:

  • Implement coordinated care management for high-needs Medicaid members
  • Refine patient-centered medical homes
  • Align financial incentives for providers to adopt value-based care
  • Implement new payment models, including global budget arrangements

Grow by optimizing expert-to-expert capabilities. This is another term for expanding our business. We'll develop more clinical products and services; explore innovative partnerships; coordinate sales and outreach strategies; expand telehealth and reposition ambulatory services for growth.

Each of these strategies serves our Triple Aim: to improve population health, provide the best care for our patients and ensure that our services are affordable. We'll need all of us to help make these goals a reality.