SEATTLE, Dec. 22, 2008 -- More than 178,000 adults between the ages of 18-64 in King County are uninsured. People who are un- or under-insured tend to either delay receiving care until they have serious symptoms or use an emergency room (ER) for primary care. At Swedish First Hill's ER, 14 percent of all visits by uninsured patients in 2007 were primary-care treatable.
Swedish believes the planned expansion of one of our family medicine residency program sites on the Ballard campus will provide a unique opportunity to build a primary-care clinic from the ground up that is focused on an innovative primary-care model for all patients, including the underserved. The focus groups for this pilot are the un- and under-insured, Medicaid beneficiaries, and a select group of Premera Blue Cross customers. Premera has a unique subset of customers who have high-deductible insurance, but are effectively uninsured for primary and preventative care.
The goals of this pilot project include:
- Development of a retainer primary-care practice in which physicians work with coordinated health-care teams to provide patient-centered care with improved outcomes, while demonstrating cost savings to Swedish, a private insurer (Premera), and the state Medicaid program.
- Testing the premise that the best quality of care stems from patient-centered, medical-team guided, cost-efficient, longitudinal care rather than episodic, illness-oriented, complaint-based care.
The objective is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of primary-care delivery by:
- Increasing access to primary care
- Redesigning care processes
- Improving management of patient health
- Redesigning payment
- Giving patients an alternative to the ER for primary care
Pilot Project Overview
Swedish will establish care teams at the Swedish Ballard-based clinic that consist of physicians, family medicine residents, mid-level providers and care managers to address the needs of patients. These teams will work together to provide care that is focused on acute and preventative care, and health maintenance. Patients will have increased access to their care teams as compared to a standard primary-care practice. The project will incorporate case managers who will help patients navigate the medical experience, access to electronic medical records, and the uniform use of evidence-based guidelines.
For more information about this pilot project and the new primary-care clinic at Swedish Ballard, click here, leave a message at 206-297-5100 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To read the related article published in the Dec. 21, 2008 issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, click here.
- And to read the related article published in the Jan. 18, 2009 issue of The Seattle Times' Pacific Northwest magazine, click here.