The Sharp healthcare system based in San Diego is participating in both a private and public accountable care initiative. In this month’s “What the Experts Say” column, Dr. John Jenrette, CEO of Sharp Community Medical Group and Chairman of the Board, California Association of Physician Groups, is optimistic in his view that this time of reform is the right time for innovation and focuses his commentary on two areas in urgent need of good solutions.
“[T]wo important and substantive processes of care delivery and innovation will see increasing efforts and opportunities for improvement and change,” Dr. Jenrette writes. “One, the continued strong focus on managing complex chronic illness, and two, the need to transform primary care services to complement more accountable delivery systems of care.”
In the area of chronic disease management, the industry must address end-of-life care practices, he posits. “Ultimately, care of these patients must occur outside of the acute hospital setting. To achieve this, we need to educate the public and our physicians on the best delivery of end-of-life care and services.”
The second urgency healthcare reform,” he writes, “is the transformation of primary care. Primary care is the foundation of medicine, but it must evolve to remain vibrant. Healthcare delivery systems around the world that have primary care as their backbone are shown to deliver higher quality medical care at the lowest cost. . . . The problem we face here in America, however, is the erosion of the primary care foundation.”
To read Dr. Jenrette’s full commentary on these issues, please click here.