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Practice Transformation Networks Explained


Practice Transformation Networks Explained

This week, on MAG’s ongoing Top Docs Radio series, I hosted two experts in practice transformation networks (PTN’s).

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) is designed to help more than 150,000 U.S clinicians improve quality and reduce costs – keeping in mind that the Medicare is changing from a volume-based payment system to a quality-based payment system in the next several years. The four-year, $800 million TCPI initiative is being funded by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.

It is aligned with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicare Access and Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The TCPI includes a network of 29 “practice transformation networks” (PTNs) that are designed to 1) improve health outcomes and 2) improve care coordination and 3) better engage patients and families and 4) improve patient, clinician and staff satisfaction and 5) reduce the overall cost of care. There is no cost for clinicians or practices to join a PTN. There are four PTNs that support clinicians in Georgia.

QualityImpact PTN

The QualityImpact PTN provides medical practices with meaningful support and resources to help them thrive in a value-based delivery environment. The QualityImpact PTN is a conduit and agent of CMS to work locally with physician groups and practices to assist them in preparation and readiness for alternative payment models. It provides services across the southeastern U.S. and beyond. It has already surpassed its enrollment target of 3,400 clinicians. Practices that enroll in the QualityImpact PTN receive a “comprehensive, transformation ‘package’ that includes: MDinsight – A sophisticated, EHR-integrated, population health management platform; Care Delivery Consulting – Process improvement facilitation enabling improved efficiency, quality, and proactive patient management; Clinical Quality Improvement – Expert-led guidance tailored to care gaps/opportunities.”

National Rural Accountable Care Consortium

NRACC has recruited more than 7,000 providers nationwide and is leading more than 876 practices through transformation from volume-based to value-based care payment models. TCPI will equip practices and clinics with the education and resources to establish the necessary population health framework and infrastructure at no cost to participating physicians while improving revenue through new billable wellness and prevention services. The following TCPI services are delivered to each practice location free for four years: Health Data Analytics Software offering a Quality Improvement Program, Risk Stratification, Annual Wellness Visit Tracking and Care Planning Program; Training & Development for Care Coordinators, Practice Managers, Billers and Coders; Implementation of a Billable Chronic Care Management program; 24/7 Nurse Advice Hotline; Patient Satisfaction Program with computer tablets for each practice; and PCMH readiness assessments every six months and training in Quarterly workshops.

Debra Simmons is the project director for the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control’s (COSEHC)QualityImpact PTN. She also serves as COSEHC’s executive director. COSEHC is a non-profit professional health care organization that is based at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina. Debra has a long history in health care – serving in such roles as clinical nurse, department director, chief nursing officer, and quality improvement program director in both pediatric and adult hospital settings.

Kathy Whitmire is the regional vice president of the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium. Her responsibilities include physician recruitment and oversight of continuous quality improvement for the Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative (TCPI) in the Southeast. Kathy’s experience is in health care reimbursement and education. She served as the managing director of a rural hospital network of 65 hospitals and their affiliated clinics and practices in the Southeast for 15 years. She holds a degree in business administration and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Georgia Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Minimally-invasive Gynecologic Surgery


Tanya Mack and Dr. Hugo Ribot of Cartersville OB-GYN

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Minimally-invasive Gynecologic Surgery

The field of women’s health has had some remarkable advancements in recent years – well even recent
months! Although there have been many advancements in women’s health, today’s show will focus on
three areas we have additional resources for here in Georgia: Laparoscopic Surgery, Maternal Fetal
Telemedicine in the OB office and Zika virus recommendations for pregnant women.

In this US, 1:9 women are expected to have a hysterectomy in their lifetime, mostly for benign disease. Technology advancements have now made it possible for MFM specialists to bring high risk care directly into the OB office vs. the patient traveling to a tertiary care center and well – the Zika virus has come to our communities in the US. Dr. Hugo Ribot has been a premier Georgia OB/GYN for over 20 years and has continued to be a top GYN surgeon and forward thinking obstetrician outside of the metro Atlanta area.

Time to get informed on what’s new in women’s health!

Special Guest:

Dr. Hugo Ribot, MD, Cartersville OB/GYN Associates  linkedin_small1


Dr. Hugo Ribot

Reducing Chronic Diseases In Georgia

chronic diseases

Jean O’Connor talks chronic diseases

Reducing Chronic Diseases In Georgia

This week I sat down with Dr. Jean O’Connor of the Georgia Department of Public Health to talk about efforts to reduce occurrence of numerous chronic diseases in Georgia.  Chronic diseases – such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease – cost Georgia approximately $40 billion dollars each year, contribute to increased absenteeism among students and employees, increase health care costs for Georgia employers, and result in more than 200,000 thousands of years of life lost. Chronic diseases in Georgia are preventable and controllable.

Through better nutrition, increased physical activity, eliminating tobacco use and providing access to high quality health care delivery practices, Georgia can improve population health, support better educational outcomes and economic development, and improve the quality of life for the state’s families and communities.  Physicians and other health care providers can use a common risk factor approach to control chronic disease in Georgia by encouraging behavior change, providing guidelines-based care and creating healthier communities.

Specifically, physicians can implement three overarching strategies into their patient care protocols to identify, control and prevent chronic diseases:

1. Use the 5As to address tobacco use with patients – ask, advise, assess, assist, arrange
2. Recommend physical activity and healthy eating using the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines
3. Utilize electronic health records (EHR) technology to quickly identify potential cases of undiagnosed
hypertension and diabetes to rescreen and monitor those patients regularly

The Georgia Department of Public Health provides resources and tools to support providers interested in engaging in these best practices.

Jean O’Connor, JD, MPH, DrPH, is the Chronic Disease Prevention Director at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).  Since joining the agency in 2013, Dr. O’Connor has held responsibility for developing and managing statewide public health programs related to cancer screening and treatment, heart disease, diabetes, tobacco use prevention, adolescent health, nutrition, physical activity and asthma.

She also serves as the principal investigator on chronic disease-related federal cooperative agreements that provide funding, technical assistance and evaluation to Georgia health systems, local health departments and other partner organizations.  In subsequent years, Dr. O’Connor served as a state deputy health director; a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and a health policy advisor.

For the past 12 years, she has also taught public health law and policy as an affiliate professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.  Dr. O’Connor earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from Emory University, and a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD).

Special Guest:

Dr. Jean O’Connor, JD, Chronic Disease Prevention Director, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH)



Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef


This week Tanya hosted Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef, MD, a long-time expert in infertility.  Respected in her field, she has helped parents give birth to over 8,000 babies.  Tanya and Dr. Mitchell-Leef discussed some of the common causes of infertility, along with treatments available today, which have significantly improved the likelihood of mothers successfully conceiving a child when they were initially having trouble.

More information soon!