3-minute case study: Extending the wellness visit

By Gale Pryor | March 8, 2017

Doctor speaking with patient.

Researchers have identified top performers on key financial and clinical metrics across the athenahealth network – and are uncovering the innovations that drive their success. Here’s a snapshot of one tactic on the road to lower cost, higher value care.

The problem

CharterCARE Health Partners is preparing to become a Next Generation ACO. To pivot the mindset of its primary care physicians toward risk-based contracts, the Rhode Island-based, 108-physician group needed a simple, immediate workflow adaptation that would enable providers to document — and be reimbursed for — a full range of quality measures.

The solution

Guided by its ownership, Prospect Medical Systems, CharterCARE launched a system-wide initiative to offer 45-minute wellness visits. Over the course of a single week, nearly 100 percent of the group's primary care physicians met with a designated physician coach at a breakfast or dinner training to learn how to use extended annual physicals to meet quality measures.

Before the initiative, providers were pressed to see patients at brief intervals, turning them over to reach productivity goals, says William R. Webb, MHA, BSN, RN, CharterCARE's project manager for physician integration. Now, Webb urges physicians to schedule annual wellness visits with all patients, saying, “I realize they take 45 minutes, but you need to be doing them. That's where a lot of your value-based clinical data gets documented."

Following the training, CharterCARE's physicians asked for — and joined in the design of — a template for annual wellness visits to ensure they collect all the necessary data.

The outcome

As the practice of 45-minute wellness visits spreads across the system, patients are not only getting their preventive care and screenings done, but CharterCARE is among the top performers on the athenahealth network when it comes to key quality metrics.

Graph showing CharterCARE quality metrics.

Gale Pryor is a senior writer for athenaInsight.

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