Hawaii practices retool

Beacon Community redesign
By Mary Mosquera
09:47 AM

The Hawaii Island Beacon Community is spearheading a practice redesign program for up to 30 independent primary care physician practices into patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).

Practice transition to the medical home model is tied to new strategies for healthcare reimbursements.

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The program will use a curriculum developed by TransforMED, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to share best practices in redesign, and tailored to the needs of local physicians, according to Susan Hunt, project director and CEO of the Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC).

The program “aims to help physicians fast-track the transformation of their primary care practices at no charge,” she said in an April 23 announcement.

The beacon community serving the largely rural island is one of 17 local and regional projects around the nation funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to be models which use health IT to measurably improve patient outcomes and to test innovative approaches to improve care.

The medical home model includes the use of electronic health records (EHR) and “is designed to improve care quality and efficiency, help people take an active role in improving their own health and reduce costs in the long term,” Hunt said.

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Medical homes promote team-based care and partnerships between patients and their personal physicians.

The beacon community will collaborate with quality improvement coaches from the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, along with partners North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association.

“The physicians who will be participating in TransforMED’s program and working with us to adopt the PCMH model are true leaders in their field,” said Melinda Nugent, clinical program manager for the beacon community, adding that physicians on Hawaii Island will be models that others can look to.

The participating Hawaii Island practices will receive through TransforMED:

  • Baseline practice assessment
  • Customized practice transformation plan
  • Access to 10 webinars that cover topics such as pre-visit planning, care coordination, and data recording and documentation
  • Admission to quarterly collaborative learning sessions with other participants
  • Recognition as a patient-centered medical home upon successful completion of the program.


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