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The Perfect Recipe for Medical Practice Transformation


If you don’t prepare for reimbursement change, pocket change may be all you have left. Here’s the recipe for success.

The “triple aim” of improved outcomes and patient experience at less cost is larger in scope and size to Jack Kennedy’s challenge of 50 years ago that the United States would put a man on the moon (and bring him back) before the end of the decade.

If it were only that simple. We all watch the headlines roll through with the “solution du jour.” Patient engagement, EHRs, ICD-10 strategies, and on and on, seemingly whatever someone is pitching for increased sales. It’s all really just promoting each ingredient in a Dagwood sandwich as the best, but without ever giving the recipe, which leaves everyone hungry, and a bit cranky. Well, OK, maybe just us.

Here’s the thing: No one solution will transform a traditional practice into a high-performing ACO, PCMH, IPA, or IPN any more than a slice of salami will make a Dagwood sandwich. But get the right strategies in the correct proportions in between a slab of commitment and another of determination, and you can proclaim the whole thing a high-performing practice system that absorbs risk, eliminates waste, and spits out profits for everyone.

The proportions for a perfect practice group are still a work in process, and very much about individual preferences, but, the ingredients are all there, and, while we like a good mystery, we love a good solution. And a sandwich. On rye. With pickles. But, we digress…

Here’s the recipe:

Pile on the following to taste between two large slices of best practices:

a.) Excellent customer service

b.) Coordinated care with care coordinator, pharma coordinator, and admission/discharge coordinator

2. Manage complex cases with physician, and everyday and maintenance cases with mid-level providers.

3. Add a comprehensive risk and disease stratification program to eliminate gaps in care

4. Blend in a functional population management system

5. Take entire staff and peel ego, discard, leaving caring

6. Infuse all ingredients with sufficient follow-through, follow-up, communication

7. Season to taste

No masterpiece is ever one without zee secret sauce and it is patient engagement. This ingredient is  delicate and requires zee practice and zee special recipe, but, get it right, and the practice is a slice of heaven!**

Recipe for Patient Engagement:

Set up preparation area by peeling away preconceptions, feed them to the dog or compost.

1. In one large standard operating procedure mix:

a.) Two cups patient relationship

b.) One cup patient engagement

c.) Half cup social trust enhancer

d.) Two large dollops each of personality typing science and common sense

  • Take two large attitudes with ego and peel off complacency to get to the right motivator for each individual
  • Blend in an accountable network
  • Cut waste
  • Reevaluate and stir frequently
  • Educate to taste
  • Bake and refine, spread over entire network. Master getting patients to do the right thing because each patient has helped decide it is the right thing to do.

Apply until you have the highest performing system in outcomes, quality, and cost.  

Make a lot! Our healthcare system is morbidly obese, moribund, and in desperate need of a healthy meal.

**French chef imitation courtesy of France. All rights reserved by France. And, zee bread, she is crusty.

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