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Great River Health Systems

Great River Health Systems increases annual wellness visit participation by 551 percent among Medicare patients

Staff at Great River Health Systems, a 378-bed regional, health care system in West Burlington, Iowa, increased annual wellness visits (AWVs) among Medicare patients after implementing Preventive Care Advisor™ into the electronic health record (EHR) in October 2015.

From April 2016 to April 2017, Great River conducted 2,389 initial AWVs for Medicare-eligible patients, a 551 percent increase when compared to the 367 AWVs from March 2015 to March 2016. Additionally, total charges for AWVs from April 2016 to April 2017 equaled $1,297,651.

Preventive Care Advisor helped us achieve greater patient care by identifying patients who are due for services such as immunizations, colonoscopies and mammograms,” said James Bell, director of operations. “We can schedule appointments for those patients, bring them in and have conversations with them, and close those gaps in their care.”

With help from Preventive Care Advisor, a solution embedded in Cerner’s PowerChart® used to search Medicare claims and compile lists of eligible patients in near real-time, Great River staff could proactively identify patients in their community needing preventive care measures.

“It’s improved our workflow and ability to capture those patients in our system who we were not connecting with previously,” said Bell. “We now have an outreach process to call patients who are due for services.”

Scheduling staff at Great River reaches out to the patients and explains the AWV process, helping the community proactively engage in their care. Then, the staff sends a packet to patients that includes a health risk assessment (HRA).

The patients’ AWVs include biometric screenings, vision tests, fall risk, risks of depression and a baseline electrocardiogram. The provider inputs the information from the HRA into Preventive Care Advisor, eliminating the need to scan and upload paper forms into the EHR, which can delay patient care.

The increase in patients participating in AWVs led to an increase in providers at Great River who performed AWVs. In 2015, no more than 12 providers at Great River conducted AWVs. In 2016, that increased to 30.

“Provider participation increased since we implemented Preventive Care Advisor because of the volume of outreach we have done,” said Bell. “We also have a clinical analyst who worked with the providers and the care team, encouraging them to promote this benefit to their patients not yet participating.”

With the increase of AWVs, the staff at Great River knows they are making positive strides toward improving the health of the community of southeast Iowa.

“One of the big benefits of doing annual wellness visits is to be able to see the quality metrics that we’re capturing and be able to provide preventive care versus just sick care for our patients,” said Bell.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.