MGMA-ACMPE, the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices, has presented its Fred Graham Award to the John C. Lincoln Physician Network for activities and solutions to advance the effectiveness of healthcare delivery and improve community health.

The award was received by Nathan Anspach, FACMPE, FACHE, Senior VP and CEO, John C. Lincoln Physician Network and Accountable Care. Anspach and his administrative team created a program that recruits combat medics and corpsmen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and trains them as transition specialists to serve the patients of the John C. Lincoln Accountable Care Organization.

“This is a wonderful honor,” Anspach said, “and all of us at John C. Lincoln are grateful to the MGMA-ACMPE for recognizing our efforts.”

Transition specialists work with recently hospitalized frail elderly patients diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, or heart failure in an effort to improve post-discharge outcomes and reduce unnecessary readmissions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated hospitals to maintain the health of Medicare hospital patients with those diagnoses, so fewer are readmitted within 30 days after discharge. CMS offers financial incentives for readmission reduction and levies penalties for increases.

National average for designated Medicare readmissions is 20 percent, costing CMS some $17 billion annually. The work of the transition specialists slashed Lincoln’s readmission rates to an astonishing 6 percent.

John C. Lincoln achieved those stunning results by mobilizing their cadre of transition specialists to provide their Medicare patients with a personal touch – treating them like beloved grandparents and helping them with medical instructions, prescriptions, doctor appointments, nutrition, transportation and safety.

The program also encourages and supports transition specialists to return to school to pursue RN, PA, MD, or DO degrees.