AMGA defines high-performing health systems

By Diana Manos
10:14 AM

The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced Thursday its definition of high-performing health systems. Leaders of the trade association said they issued the definition to educate legislators and the public about the need for meaningful change to improve patient care.

AMGA officials said the definition is the result of extensive work by AMGA member-driven work groups, the AMGA Public Policy Committee, and the AMGA Board of Directors.

[See also: AMGA, Press Ganey launch ACO tool.]

“As health reform continues in the public and private sectors across the nation, we’ve seen a lot of confusion about what constitutes a ‘high-performing health system,’ and why these systems should be incentivized,” said Donald W. Fisher, AMGA president and chief executive officer. “Because our members are on the cutting edge of healthcare quality and innovation, AMGA believed it was imperative that we assume a leadership position in defining a high-performing health system to educate legislators, insurers, and the public.”

As defined by AMGA, high-performing health systems are provider entities that demonstrate:  

  • Quality measurement and improvement activities across sites of care and between patient visits;
  • Use of a team-based approach that supports collaboration and communication among the patient, physician, and licensed or certified medical professionals who are working at the top of their field across medical specialties and health care specialties;
  • Meaningful use of interoperable information technology, scientific evidence, and comparative analytics;
  • Use of compensation structures that provide incentives to physicians and licensed and certified medical professionals to improve the health and outcomes of populations; and
  • Shared financial and regulatory responsibility and accountability for successfully managing the per capita cost of healthcare, improving the patient care experience, and improving the health of its respective populations.
  • Physician leadership in medical care and shared responsibility for non-clinical activities                  

“It is our hope that this definition will prove foundational to providing high-performing health systems with greater financial and regulatory predictability and patients with higher quality care at a lower cost,” Fisher said. “We believe that provider entities can use these attributes as goals for operational and quality improvement. We hope our colleagues on Capitol Hill and at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will use this definition to ensure that these providers are recognized for their efforts.  As the old adage goes ‘actions speak louder than words,’ but in this case, we’re hoping our words lead to bold federal actions.”

[See also: Geisinger lands 2011 AMGA Acclaim Award .]