Affinity Medical Home a team approach to personalized primary care
New health care delivery model implemented at Affinity’s Kaukauna and Oshkosh clinics
03 / 03 / 2009
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
MENASHA, Wis. – As a health care system dedicated to personalized care, Affinity Health System has rolled out a new, comprehensive way to impact patients’ health care experiences through the Affinity Medical Home. Structured to meet individual patient needs with a highly coordinated team working in partnership with the patient, this approach puts Affinity Medical Group (AMG) at the forefront of the national movement toward the medical home model. The model has gained wide support as a means to deliver high quality, cost-effective primary care while increasing levels of satisfaction for patients, physicians and care team members.
Currently up and running at Affinity’s Koeller Street clinic (1855 S. Koeller St.) in Oshkosh and beginning today at the Kaukauna Fieldcrest Drive clinic (2601 Fieldcrest Dr.), patients will experience a difference in care. Patients, who were previously seen at the Darboy clinic location, will now see their comprehensive health care team of providers at the Kaukauna clinic.
“We found that we were quickly outgrowing the space at the Darboy clinic at the same time we were working on implementing Affinity Medical Home. Ultimately it made sense for us to make this move so we could better serve our patients in the area,” said Dr. Erik Emaus, president of AMG.
The former Darboy clinic will now house administrative staff for Affinity Occupational Health. The Kaukauna clinic environment better serves the new medical home delivery of care due to the clinic’s size, layout and design, which enhance services and increase efficiencies. Additional staff was also hired to meet the higher volume of patients expected due to the consolidation of practices and new delivery of care. OB-GYN and Physical Therapy care are now available on-site as well.
While there is still more work to be done, Affinity Health System has been researching the medical home model for the past year to select model practice sites, build care teams and implement operational change. The Affinity Medical Home team is spearheaded by Dr. Emaus, along with a project leadership team including Affinity CEO Daniel E. Neufelder and three AMG primary care physicians: Dr. Larry Donatelle, Dr. Peter Roloff and Dr. Matt Kraemer. Dr. Kraemer also leads the Koeller Street Medical Home team. The Kaukauna team will be led by Dr. Dan Smith and Dr. Nikki Brady.
How Affinity Medical Home benefits patients
For the patient, Affinity Medical Home will provide access and care in a comprehensive team environment. The personalized care teams at both Affinity clinics will consist of one or more physicians partnered with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, a nurse specialist who will coordinate disease management, a behavioral health resource, a patient service representative and health care associate such as a LPN (licensed practical nurse), MA (medical assistant) or CMA (certified medical assistant). The team of experts assembled will depend on individual patient needs.
Finding a different, more personalized way to meet patients’ needs has been at the forefront of the medical community’s efforts for years. Developed originally in the 1960s to centralize pediatric patients’ medical records, the medical home delivery of care model has evolved into a way to deliver comprehensive personalized care that is now widely endorsed by the medical community including: AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), ACP (American College of Physicians) and AOA (American Osteopathic Association).
“Last September, at the invitation of Affinity’s Medical Home planning team, I had the opportunity to present my learnings and experience around the medical home model with several Affinity Medical Group physicians and their teams. Affinity's Medical Home teams have looked across the country in an effort to learn about this model. It’s exciting to see that they are now applying these learnings through the implementation of two model practices, which will then facilitate and support related changes throughout the medical group,” said Dr. Christine Sinsky, with Medical Associates Clinic and Health Plans. Dr. Sinsky also serves as a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Medical Home Advisory Board Member.
“This has been an exciting journey for us as a health care system to roll out the Affinity Medical Home. Both patients and providers will feel the difference,” said Dr. Emaus. “This delivery of care model brings to light some of our best practices and takes our care to a new level.”
Other medical practices and systems that currently use the medical home model include: Geisinger Health System (Pennsylvania), Community Care of North Carolina and Denver Health.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.