Kaiser Permanente featured in national report on successful health care payer-provider partnerships

A new report released this week by the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) features Kaiser Permanente as an example of how strong partnerships among health plans and providers improves the delivery of medical knowledge and adoption of evidence-based care for patients. As a result of this collaboration, care improves, costs go down, and patients experience better outcomes.

The report, “Accelerating Adoption of Evidence Based Care: Payer-Provider Partnerships,” illustrates how collaboration among health plans, physicians, and communities speeds medical evidence from the lab room to the exam room. The report also finds that community health plans have a unique ability to influence clinician behavior, aiding in adoption of evidence-based health interventions and delivering higher quality care.

“Caring for patients means ensuring that we deliver on the latest, life-saving, medical breakthroughs,” said Ceci Connolly, president and CEO, ACHP. “We know that scientists around the world are making new medical discoveries, but it can take decades for the related treatments and protocols to reach patients. Nonprofit, community health plans know how to accelerate the adoption of evidence in patient care.”

With researchers estimating that the universe of medical knowledge doubles every three months, and that it takes an average of 17 years for that knowledge to make its way to the point of care, ACHP recognized the need for new strategies to help clinicians. “Accelerating Adoption of Evidence Based Care: Payer-Provider Partnerships” is a culmination of an 18-month study of nonprofit, provider-aligned community health plans across the country, including Kaiser Permanente.

“We are delighted to be part of the study and of the report, which highlights Kaiser Permanente’s work in customizing education, tools, and access to specialized training that resulted in safe and appropriate prescribing and a significant drop in opioid prescriptions,” said Sameer Awsare, MD, associate executive director, The Permanente Medical Group, which serves more than 4 million patients in Northern California and is the largest medical group in the United States. “The initiative has since become a national priority for the organization, resulting in a 40 percent drop in opioids prescribed across all eight Kaiser Permanente regions.”

The report identifies five best practices that health plans and health systems of all sizes and models can employ to improve the adoption of evidence-based care, and provides detailed case studies from health organizations across the country that illustrate the best practices in action:

  1. Build consensus and commitment to change
  2. Create a team that includes the necessary skill sets, perspectives, and staff roles
  3. Customize education, tools, and access to specialized knowledge for physicians and for patients
  4. Share timely and accurate data and feedback in a culture of transparency, accountability, and healthy competition
  5. Align financial investments with clinical and patient experience goals

The new report, case studies and related materials can be found at transforming-care.org.

“Accelerating Adoption of Evidence-Based Care: Payer-Provider Partnerships” is the result of an 18-month-long study, funded partially through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute® (PCORI®) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award.

About ACHP

The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. ACHP’s member health plans provide coverage and care for more than 21 million Americans across 32 states and the District of Columbia. These organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care, including primary care redesign, payment reform, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology. To learn more, go to www.achp.org and follow ACHP on Twitter @_ACHP.

About The Permanente Federation

In 1997, the Permanente Medical Groups formed The Permanente Federation LLC to represent their shared interests. The Federation serves as the key partner on behalf of the medical groups with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals on national initiatives.