Populytics’ Collaboration with American Medical Group Association® (AMGA) Aids Innovation

As an affiliate of Lehigh Valley Physicians Group (LVPG), which is a member of the American Medical Group Association® (AMGA), Populytics is active in AMGA activities. Members are counted among those organizations leading the transformation of health care. Its collaborations have proven to develop the most effective and efficient models to provide the highest quality of medical services to participants’ patients, while simultaneously saving money through innovations in care coordination, data collection and analysis, and value based care.

As a collaborator, Populytics has the opportunity to connect, share ideas, and work together with peers from across the country to solve common challenges and chart successful paths for the future. One such opportunity is AMGA’s newly initiated Collaborative for Performance Excellence (CPX), where eight hospital-affiliated groups share standardized cost data from both Electronic Medical Records and insurance claims, with technological assistance from Optum Analytics.

AMGA creates dashboards of blinded data, where costs are ranked in terms of efficiency and compared to the others in the group. From these comparisons, it’s possible to drill down on specific service lines and procedures to see how one’s costs rank in relation to the other participants. According to Michael Weiss, MPH, Populytics’ Director, Advisory Services, the initiative is an effective vehicle for comparing benchmarks and performance among peers.  Through that evaluation process, he says, “We can tell where we are higher or lower in cost, then develop interventions to decrease costs that are high.”

“We know our performance, in isolation, compared to previous years, but finding out how our efficiency compares to others is difficult without a collaborative such as this,” says Weiss. “Making this type of data transparent is a driver for improved performance – the ultimate goal being to increase quality and outcomes for patients while at same time decreasing costs.”

Weiss was featured on a discussion panel in the recent AMGA Meeting Summit, which was held virtually on July 21-22. Titled, “Total Cost of Care and the Value Journey Moving Forward,” it dealt with specific areas of opportunity related to success in value-based care based on a survey completed prior to the session. The CPX group was asked to rank ambulatory care sensitive conditions of greatest importance to them, and rate additional specific opportunities for reduction in the cost of care. Participants who are highly efficient have the opportunity to share best practices with others who identify challenges.

Interestingly, notes Weiss, the disease states or procedures that showed the most room for efficiency improvement among the other group members were those associated with high performance at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). “This illustrates how advanced we really are in identification of opportunity,” says Weiss. “It serves as motivation for alignment among independent physicians and proves the benefit of participation in our value-based contracts. Ultimately, it reaffirms Populytics’ and LVHN’s ongoing and continued commitment to the transition to value-based care. Of primary importance, it shows that we’re doing the right thing for our patients.”