Ashley Umberger-Marciniak

Caravan Health representative Ashley Umberger-Marciniak discusses the move into value-based care and all the intricacies involved.

GRANGEVILLE – Syringa Hospital Board members received a deeper look at value-based care when a representative from Caravan Health visited the Dec. 17 meeting.

Value-based programs reward health care providers with incentive payments for the quality of care they give to people.

“Wellness exams are a huge component as you move toward,” value-based care explained Caravan’s Ashley Umberger-Marciniak. “The wellness checkups are less hands-on and more about interview, history with the patient.”

She spoke about the importance of detailed coding, specifically in Medicare, to be reimbursed correctly.

“Although we’re focusing more on Medicare,” and its evolving regulations, “we want you to take a look at your patient population as a whole,” she emphasized.

She said commercial payers are already aligning to the value-based method, adding, “it’s not unique to Medicare.”

According to a “financial dashboard” sheet included in the month’s board packets, for the month ending Nov. 30, Medicare payment as a percentage of Syringa’s gross revenue was 51.3 percent.

In other news, chief nursing officer Alex Frei reported the nursing department and discharge planning team “have done a fantastic job reducing our internal readmission rate this past fiscal year.”

“We are now taking that momentum and working on ways to increase communication throughout all levels of the patient care team. We are accomplishing this through our implementation of the standardized reporting,” Frei said. “Dr. Griffis is our provider lead for our continuum of care committee and he has helped tremendously when it comes to ideas and strategy for nurse and doctor communications. We are confident that this program will enhance our patient care to an even higher level than it already is.”

Director of clinic operations, Michelle Schaeffer, reported on the Syringa Primary Clinic restructure.

A taskforce to develop the new workflow to improve efficiency consists of employees across a variety of departments.

“The clinic is doing very well with annual wellness visits and have exceeded the internal goal of 20 percent – the goal for the end of 2020 is 40 percent,” of the traditional Medicare population, Schaeffer reported.

In coordination with value-based care, she said the focus on clinical documentation improvement is to meet the medical necessity which will be the most help in meeting the highest level of specificity of disease through coding.

CEO Abner King’s report included he, Frei and Schaeffer met with Joyce Dearstyne, Framing Our Community, in November to discuss design recommendations for a proposed community center in Elk City that would house future clinic operations.

He also reported a team from Syringa visited Kootenai Care Network in November. This is an integrated network participating in value-based payment services for Kootenai Health.

Chief financial officer, Betty Watson, reported gross charges written off as bad debt and sent to collection for November were $95,896, which is 5 percent of gross charges. The payment to Kootenai Health for services agreement fees was $19,506.

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