How Yosi Health and Penn’s Rock Primary Care are advancing value-based care
By Chris Hayhurst | October 2, 2023
Earlier this year, Penn’s Rock Primary Care added Yosi Health to the integrated tools it leverages through the athenaOne platform. An athenahealth customer since 2021, Penn’s Rock is a lot like many healthcare organizations in that it’s increasingly focused on value-based care.
The Philadelphia-based practice selected Yosi Health after evaluating various programs on the athenahealth Marketplace. It deployed the company’s patient-intake and management solution to streamline the administrative processes that are key to success in VBC programs.
We reached out to leaders at both organizations to ask them about their burgeoning partnership. The following is an edited version of that conversation with Penn’s Rock Director Jonas Leavy and Yosi co-founder and CEO Hari Prasad.
Leavy: Penn’s Rock is a smaller practice where everyone wears multiple hats. Our largest payer by volume tends to be Medicaid plans. They’re still predominantly fee-for-service, but they’re starting to embrace hybrid-reimbursement models where they’ll share some of their savings with us if we can show them, we’re providing high-quality care while helping to keep costs down. In Pennsylvania, we have managed care plans like Keystone First and state initiatives like the Centers of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder program that stress the importance of value-based care.
Prasad: Our mission at Yosi is aligned with what practices like Penn’s Rock want to achieve: to reduce the cost of care for providers and to improve patient outcomes. We do that by making it significantly easier for patients access care as early as possible and by minimizing the traditional administrative bottlenecks that practices face.
Leavy: athena has been instrumental for improving compliance and even just participating in these value-based initiatives, but in terms of providing documentation to the insurance companies and meeting all the goals they’ve prescribed — you can’t really do that with athena alone. For digital intake, we’d relied on an integration with another Marketplace partner, but they exited the space, so we needed a new solution. Yosi was a great vendor for us to move to next because they help us identify everything that might drive a patient to our office that isn’t immediately obvious and easy to touch on.
Leavy: We might have a young mother with multiple kids coming to the office again and again who’s complaining of headaches, that it’s hard to control her diabetes, and maybe she has some other concerns as well. That’s a patient that any VBC program really wants us to keep healthy and out of the hospital. It’s important that we one, get them to come to us instead of the emergency room; and two, ensure they come to us no more than is necessary. The way we do that, and which was unwieldy when we were on paper, is by giving that patient a full scope of health questionnaires.
With Yosi and the convenience of digital intake, we’re able to easily present to patients things like the GAD-7 for anxiety, the PHQ-9 for depression, and a host of other forms as appropriate for that individual’s situation. If they mention that they’re not single, we can use the HITS screening tool for intimate partner violence. If they indicate they drink at all, we can assess automatically with Yosi how much based on age and sex, and then we know if we need to present them with an audit questionnaire. In the exam room, the physician is going to ask that patient how they’re feeling and thinking about things. What Yosi does is give them metrics and data to work with so they can really dive into what to do clinically.
Prasad: Our advanced, screening based self-scheduling service allow patients see their provider as early as possible. For someone at risk or who needs attention immediately, it makes it less likely they’ll go to the emergency room for care if they could get in a clinic like Penn’s Rock.
Another value added service is the assessments, questionnaires, and screeners that Jonas mentioned. In addition to the necessary patient data that is put in clinicians’ hands so they can provide the best care possible, it allows them to spend more face time with patients and less time on documentation.
Prasad: First and foremost, we try to understand how they utilize the athena system to help them with their workflows and appointment schedules. Yosi sits on top of the processes they have in place. We don’t typically ask them to change anything; instead, we look at how they’re doing things currently and create efficiencies based on their already evolved workflows.
With bidirectional integration with athenahealth, Yosi makes it extremely easy for patients to book appointments in real time and enter vital information before they get to the care center. This eliminates the problem a lot of practices face, where patients arrive for their appointments and things are so busy and the patient is often unprepared that their information simply isn’t collected. With Yosi Health, their data goes directly into the patient’s chart all before they arrive, reducing the administrative bottleneck in the check-in process.
After the initial set-up is complete, our team works closely with the customer to make sure the rollout is successful, and their needs are fully met. We also survey their data repeatedly to ensure that the system is fully optimized. Based on what we see, we then work with them to make adjustments so they can maximize their return on investment. That may involve simple things like changing their text messages to engage patients better or adding more services to their workflows.
Leavy: To preface, when we launched with athena, the amount of time it took to process a patient instantaneously went down dramatically. For a 15-minute encounter, it went from approximately 11 minutes to four and a half minutes, and we were capturing much more information than we did previously. When we then integrated with our first digital-intake solution, that processing time moved to about five and a half minutes, but now we were reliably collecting information about depression, anxiety, exercise, diet — all the things that really matter in primary care, but you never have time to collect.
Now that we’re using Yosi, our processing time has dropped again but the quality of the integration with athena is better. On my end, in terms of developing software or policies and procedures to move data around, I haven’t had to do anything. And since the implementation, we’ve been very confident and comfortable knowing we can reach Yosi at any time for any issues.
Prasad: At Yosi Health, we’re laser focused on finding more ways to help our customers deliver better care with less administrative burden. And what that means for us is providing more value and giving them more productivity tools. One example of something we’re working on is a tool to reduce patient no-shows by more than 50%. We’re also exploring how to help reduce accounts receivables from patient payments. This plus a host of other enhancements that are largely driven by working with our athenahealth clients.
Leavy: Our biggest objective at Penn’s Rock right now is to become a much larger Center of Excellence. We’re collaborating with Keystone First on that as they define their metrics for value-based care in 2024, and we’re working with Yosi to make sure our intake process is aligned with those measures.
We’re also looking forward to continuing to take care of our providers. With athena and Yosi, they’re only very rarely having to log in to finish charts and document after hours. With burnout the issue it is today, the fact that our providers can go to sleep at night is something we really value.