Health Care Reform Advances Sutter’s Transformation Vision
Several years ago Sutter Health started on a path to lead care delivery transformations that achieve the highest levels of quality, access and affordability for our patients. Health care reform – enacted into law one year ago today – advances this transformational vision. While many of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions remain undefined, Sutter Health believes in the core components of this historic legislation.
We support increased access and coverage – as well as accountability for high quality, affordable care. Last year our hospitals achieved the top decile performance on all Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) measures. Our physician network development strategy also grew tremendously in the last year. With nearly 5,000 physicians, our Sutter Medical Network (SMN) stands on the cusp of clinically integrating care delivery across 100 Northern California communities. Accelerating technology innovation, including our electronic health record, enables all of this progress.
Thinking more broadly about further integrating care across our system, the accountable care concept enables Sutter Health’s existing transformation strategy. We have design teams focused on population management, the patient experience, financing models and information technology infrastructure. We have a commitment to personalized health care and are extending that same type of thinking to how we approach designs under development. The work we have underway positions our network to potentially apply for accountable care organization (ACO) status with Medicare. We continue to explore ACO-like commercial options, too.
We, like other health care organizations, do have concerns about reimbursement reductions that can affect patients’ access to care. We are preparing for health care financing changes by further reducing care variation and by more broadly adopting best-practice approaches. Time after time, we have shown that we can provide quality care to our patients by improving efficiency and reducing costs. While we've made great strides, our work is far from done.
Sutter Health remains committed to transforming care for our patients and doing our part to support fundamental change in health care delivery.