A Message from Virginia Garcia's CEO, Gil Muñoz
With all the uncertainties surrounding health care reform, many are asking, “how will health care be delivered in the future, and most importantly, how will it affect me?” At Virginia Garcia, these questions are foremost in our minds as we work to expand access and improve our health care delivery model.
For the past year, we have worked with the State Department of Health and Human Services and the Oregon Primary Care Association to develop an alternative payment methodology (APM) to address how health care is delivered and reimbursed. I’m pleased to announce that Virginia Garcia has been selected as a pilot site for a three year APM study beginning this fall. What this means for our medical clinics is that health care providers will be reimbursed for the care they provide with more emphasis on health outcomes rather than individual office visits. What this means for our patients is better access and more comprehensive care.
The APM aligns perfectly with the patient-centered medical home model Virginia Garcia has adopted. Most exciting for us is that the new Cornelius Wellness Center is designed to fully utilize this approach. The Center will accommodate teams of physicians, mental health providers, nurses and case workers to provide comprehensive patient care. The APM is the piece we have been missing to reach our goals for patient-centered, integrated health care delivery. Now, this vision is a reality at Virginia Garcia. Our work will give the state and Community Health Centers around the country a chance to witness the efficacy of this approach.
Virginia Garcia is also one of 40 safety net clinics around the state to participate in a shared electronic medical records network called Our Community Health Information Network (OCHIN). This provides an “incredible opportunity for us to look at data like never before,” according to Dr. Ann Turner, Co-Medical Director. “This gives us new insights into the different disparities - like poverty, language and psychological barriers to health care - in the populations we serve.” OCHIN is looked to as a model for developing community health networks nationally.
In August, Virginia Garcia organized a “Kaizen event”. “Kaizen” in Japanese means continuous quality improvement. The purpose of our event was to analyze how we provide care for patients with diabetes to see how and where we can improve our care delivery and overall patient experience. The two day event got a very good response from staff and patients and we were able to build a model for a standard visit and follow-up for patients who have diabetes.
This fall, with a generous grant from Kaiser Permanente, Virginia Garcia will launch an oral health program in our School-based Health Centers (SBHC) in Tigard and Forest Grove. A mobile clinic with dental hygienists will be on site to provide cleanings and oral health education one day per week at each school. This will add important preventive health services to our SBHC.
Finally, it was a proud day for Virginia Garcia when we broke ground on August 12th for the new Cornelius Wellness Center. Together we’ve come a very long way from our humble beginnings in a garage to a state-of-the-art wellness center that will open in the fall of 2012. We couldn’t have done it without you and we thank you for your continued support.