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ConnectiCare Brings Providers Together for Successful Summit

FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT (Sept. 22, 2015) – More than 140 physicians and administrators from physician practices and hospitals across Connecticut gathered at Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Thursday, Sept. 9, for a conference presented by ConnectiCare titled “Practice Transformation: Prepare, Transform, Excel.” The event was the first health plan-sponsored conference in the state aimed at educating providers on how their practices can meet the challenges of the new era in health care delivery brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other federal requirements.

“Educational efforts surrounding the ACA have focused largely on consumers, but health care reform also has tremendous implications for physician practices,” said Stephanie Rich, RN, MBA, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Management at ConnectiCare. “As an organization that prides itself on collaborating with physician groups to promote the health of their patients and our members, we wanted to create an opportunity for providers to hear from experts about options for navigating this radically different world. The goal is to help practices thrive so they can enhance patients’ experience with top-quality, coordinated care across the continuum.”

The half-day program featured several guest speakers. Change was a recurring theme. The traditional model of the American health care system, presenters said, has been altered forever. The longstanding fee-for-service model, in which payers compensate providers based on the volume of services they perform, is being replaced by a new, value-based model. Going forward, providers will be reimbursed based on quality performance measures and patients’ health outcomes. This new model demands that practices increase quality, reduce costs and closely manage the health of their patient populations. The transformation requires significant organizational, technological and cultural changes.

Amy Nguyen Howell, MD, MBA, gave the keynote address. Howell is Chief Medical Officer of California-based CAPG, a national association representing more than 200 physician organizations that practice clinically integrated, comprehensive and coordinated care. In her address, titled “America’s Health System: Moving into Risk and Transformation,” Howell urged physicians to stay current with regulations and guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so they understand where health care delivery is headed. She stressed the need to integrate and analyze claims and clinical data, identify high-risk patients, institute robust care-management practices and redesign the practice workflow for greater efficiency and improved patient experience.

Other speakers included Al Kurose, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coastal Medical, a highly successful accountable care organization based in Rhode Island, and Michael Pinnolis, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Hartford HealthCare’s Integrated Care Partners, a physician-led clinical integration organization. The event featured a “Practice Transformation Panel” that included Arnold DoRosario, MD, Vice President and Chief Population Officer at the Northeast Medical Group of Yale New Haven Health System; Joseph Quaranta, MD, President of New Haven-based Community Medical Group, an independent practice association; and David Thompson, MD, President of the Connecticut State Medical Society independent practice association. John Harper, MD, PhD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of ConnectiCare, moderated the panel.

Other program sponsors included Optum, Physician One Urgent Care, Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute and Connecticut Hospital Association.