National Hospital Week offers greater Phoenix residents a chance to celebrate the talented physicians, nurses and medical administrators who ensure Arizonans receive the world-class health care they deserve.
The week also provides an opportunity to learn how delivering exceptional outcomes with a powerful cost and value proposition – every patient’s hope and every provider’s objective – is shaping the business of medicine. As the health care environment undergoes seemingly constant change, industry leaders are developing innovative methods to address value, choice and cost considerations – physician-hospital networks are rapidly becoming the linchpin.
Business leaders and industry-savvy consumers have heard all about HMOs, PPOs and even ACOs, but now there is a new addition to the health care lexicon: the clinically integrated organization (CIO). The CIO is an interconnected network of clinical providers and hospitals working in synergy to deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients while concurrently managing health care costs.
Over the past five years, clinically integrated organizations have grown in popularity. But such networks are highly unusual in the pediatric environment, despite the fact that pediatric practitioners face even greater challenges of quality and efficiency.
Here in Phoenix, we are among the first cities in the country to establish a pediatric clinically integrated organization with the debut of Phoenix Children’s Care Network (PCCN). Established in 2014, PCCN is defining the way health care is delivered to Valley children and their families. Our more than 800 primary care and specialty providers have studied and trained to work exclusively with children and are committed to improving clinical performance across the spectrum of pediatric care.
The differentiator of the CIO is a model of payer contracting driven by evidence of improved care and cost efficiencies. Our pediatric physicians employ consistent standards of care delivery, quality reporting and tracking, information sharing and collaboration to ensure their clinical performance improves over time. In the Valley, this groundbreaking model is designed to improve access to all levels of care, achieve the best pediatric clinical outcomes and deliver an excellent patient experience.
What does this mean for Valley businesses and consumers? Growing evidence shows insurance pricing in Arizona is expected to increase markedly – potentially by double digits. As such, cost and choice will become an even larger factor in choosing a plan from the roster of offerings. But in evaluating coverage options, businesses and consumers alike should take care to consider the plan’s overall value including affordability, coverage, provider network, quality and access to care.
Businesses seeking comprehensive yet cost-efficient coverage for their employees should ensure their plan includes a strong CIO network. People build personal and valuable relationships with their doctors and hospitals – nowhere is this more evident than in pediatrics. When choosing a plan, they want to see options that include these trusted providers. With more than half of all Valley pediatricians, 80 percent of Maricopa County’s pediatric specialists and access to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and its specialty and urgent care centers, PCCN delivers quality, access, affordability and expertise Valley residents can trust.
Amidst a rapidly evolving health care landscape, National Hospital Week provides an opportunity to recognize adaptive and strategic care delivery models like the clinically integrated organization; they are critical in providing greater Phoenix residents the quality and affordable care they deserve.
Chad Johnson is senior vice president and executive director of Phoenix Children’s Care Network.