Patient Care

$4.65M to Enhance Resident Training Experience, Advance Medical Home Model

Jan. 30, 2013
URMC receives CMS funding to improve education, patient care

The state Department of Health has awarded the University of Rochester Medical Center $4.65 million to expand the training experience for primary care residents by increasing their exposure to the patient-centered medical home model. It also will assist four URMC practices in enhancing and broadening their ability to better manage patient populations.

The funding, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is part of the Hospital-Medical Home Demonstration Program, a three-year project that is making up to $250 million available for teaching hospitals to transition their outpatient training sites to patient-centered medical homes.

It will allow Strong Internal Medicine, Highland Family Medicine, Culver Medical Group and the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pediatric Practice to increase the number of hours spent by primary care residents in practices that care for Medicaid patients, including their participation in quality improvement initiatives. The funding also will provide additional staff members for the practices, such as care managers, data managers, registered nurses, and a shared EPIC analyst. A total of 11.3 FTEs will be added, along with a one-year analyst commitment.

Plans call for enhancing medical home models and broadening their ability to better manage patient populations by improving access to care, offering more preventive services, tracking and providing outreach to non-adherent patients, and developing outcome measures. The funding will help the practices, which are currently certified under 2008 standards as Level 3 NCQA patient-centered medical homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, to meet the more rigorous 2011 certification standards one year earlier than required.

Plans specific to individual practices include:

  • an improved focus on care transitions to reduce hospital readmission rates, in the case of Strong Internal Medicine and Culver Medical Group;
  • a depression care management component at Highland Family Medicine and the Anthony Jordan Health Center’s Brown Square location, where HFM residents practice. It includes screening, a patient registry, a set of guidelines for treatment of that specific patient population, systematic follow-up, and relapse prevention;
  • using telemedicine with the GHS Pediatric Practice patients to improve access and compliance with management of chronic illness and reduce unnecessary emergency room visits.

“This opportunity will provide our residents with additional, valuable time and experience in the ambulatory setting, where 70 percent of internal medicine care is provided,” said Marc N. Berliant, M.D., chief of the URMC Division of General Medicine and medical director of Strong Internal Medicine.

It also will make primary care more attractive as residents see a new model of medicine and how it improves the overall care of our patients, said Thomas L. Campbell, M.D., chair of the URMC Department of Family Medicine. “Additionally, the funding is going to be a tremendous help in the integration of quality improvement as part of the medical home model.”

Brett W. Robbins, M.D., program director for the med-peds residency program based at Culver Medical Group, and Elizabeth Lattimore, administrative director for clinical services at Golisano Children’s Hospital, also were instrumental in securing the funding.