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Case for clinical-integration accreditation

This FierceHealthcare piece looks at the case for earning clinical-integration accreditation, taking Phoenix Children’s Hospital and its Phoenix Children’s Care Network (PCCN) as a case study.

PCCN  became the first  U.S. pediatric network  to earn URAC accreditation as a clinically integrated network. URAC is a nonprofit organization that develops evidence-based measures and standards through inclusive engagement.  This  PCCN accreditation signifies a commitment to better care, processes and patient outcomes as well as  cost savings for patients, their families and the  wider community.

The  Fierce piece reports:

“PCCN’s first order of business was to develop one of the nation’s first pediatric-dedicated clinically integrated organizations (CIO). The PCCN pediatric CIO is rooted in the development of a robust quality-improvement program with accountability among independent physicians and the connected health system. It rewards and integrates physician members around a common commitment to quality measures based on scientific evidence and cost improvement.”

“In just a few short years, the PCCN model has grown to be Arizona’s largest children’s care coordination network and one of the nation’s premier pediatric CIOs.”

URAC’s basic clinical-integration accreditation standards are, as paraphrased by Fierce, are:

  • “A governing structure that provides compliance and oversight.
  • “Top-down organizational alignment that ensures business arrangements are patient-centric and structured around improving outcomes, quality and costs.
  • “Care coordination built around a population health mindset.
  • “An integrated IT infrastructure that enables information exchange and data aggregation.

To read more, please hit this link.


Changing pediatric care through clinical integration


Robert Meyer, chief executive of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, discusses how clinical integration is changing pediatric care.

He says: “Twenty-four months ago, Phoenix Children’s Hospital launched a bold initiative to create a first-of-its-kind pediatric clinically integrated organization, or PCIO — a value-based approach to improving care and controlling costs.”

“The clinically integrated organization is different from the ACO  {Accountable Care Organization} in that an ACO is limited to a product offering from a contractual perspective, i.e., Medicare. Clinically integrated organizations can operate in multiple platforms, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial products. This model’s flexibility allowed us to provide the best possible care specifically focused on children.”

“As we built the infrastructure of our clinically integrated organization, we recognized that 92 percent of all care interactions occur outside the hospital, requiring a proactive approach to patient care. Our PCIO, the Phoenix Children’s Care Network, is a collaborative and integrated system of care encompassing general pediatricians, pediatric specialists and sites of service, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the hospital-owned urgent care and surgery centers. The PCCN is governed by physicians, the majority of whom are independent.”


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