Angelenos in need of high quality medical care at a fair price need look no further than the UCLA Medical Group. It has received a four-star “elite” ranking, which is the highest possible designation, in the eighth annual CAPG Standards of Excellence survey. CAPG is the largest association in the nation; it represents physician organizations practicing capitated (cost controlled), coordinated care. CAPG members include more than 160 multi-specialty medical groups and independent practice associations (IPAs). It comprises 180 medical group members in California and 29 other states. CAPG evaluates how well-equipped healthcare systems are to deliver a better patient experience, better population health and better overall affordability; the organization notes that this is the “triple aim” outlined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This year marks the second consecutive that the survey was conducted by CAPG in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
UCLA Medical Group notes that it is one of 45 physician associations to achieve the desirable “elite” status in the survey. The survey results were released at CAPG’s national conference of healthcare experts, held from June 5 to 8 in Los Angeles. “We are constantly challenging ourselves to do more for our patients while controlling costs,” noted Dr. Samuel A. Skootsky, chief medical officer of the UCLA Faculty Practice and Medical Group. He added, “Participation in the Standards of Excellence survey provides an opportunity to evaluate and improve on our processes. It is gratifying to see the success of these efforts acknowledged through our four-star rating.”
In 2014, 86 medical groups that comprise 11.1 million members through health maintenance organization (HMO) models of care and an estimated 5 million through preferred provider organization (PPO) coverage or government programs participated in the CAPG evaluation. They were rated in six key areas:
Care management practices: Providing timely, safe, effective, efficient care and constantly improving care.
Health information technology: The technical tools required to support care management practices, as well as individual care coordination, population awareness, performance measurement and feedback.
Accountability and transparency: Responding to the demands of the people the organization serves.
Patient-centered care: The ability to promote a service-oriented culture.
Group support of advanced primary care: Providing the “patient-centered medical home” with a system-wide functionality and revitalizing the discipline of primary care.
Administrative and financial capability: How physician groups respond to the financial challenges of healthcare reform.
“What started eight years ago has now become an industry standard in measuring the tools required for sophisticated healthcare systems to deliver accountable and value-based care in the physician practice setting,” noted Donald Crane, president and CEO of CAPG. He added, “The industry validation continues to solidify the Standards of Excellence’s value in helping physician practices improve the coordination of patient care and thrive in a healthcare marketplace undergoing immense transition.”