Getting Its (PCMH) Kicks on Route 66: One Small MD Group's Experience | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Getting Its (PCMH) Kicks on Route 66: One Small MD Group's Experience

November 8, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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In a small farming community in south-central Illinois, Daniel Wujek, M.D., of Litchfield Family Practice, a 19-person, family physician group, is leading his organization down a tough road, one that has required patience and a steady investment of both time and resources. 
 
Considering this is Litchfield, which formed as a 19th century railroad community and later became a famous stop-over town on Old Route 66, it's only appropriate that Dr. Wujek would have to take a metaphorical journey. Transit is entrenched in the city's history. 
 
What's more, as a rural healthcare provider that's trying to achieve advanced population health management, a definite rarity, Litchfield Family Practice has had to take this journey without a "GPS" guiding the way. After all, how many independent physician groups in rural areas, that take on every kind of patient, from prenatal to geriatric, and care for a large Medicaid population (approximate 40 percent of its patients; 6-8 percent are without insurance completely), have done this kind of thing before? 
 
Despite this, Litchfield has already achieved level 3 patient-centered medical home (PCHM) certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and is aiming to go even farther in its population health scope. As Wujek tells it, the mere concept of becoming a PCMH didn't even seem all that far-fetched to Litchfield Family Practice in the first place. 
 
"We had always kind of seen ourselves as the practice that coordinates care for its patients and takes ownership of its conditions. We saw [PCMH] as a way of advancing what we had already been doing," Wujek says. "The majority of our diabetic patients, our hypertension patients, don't have easy access to consultants. So we take management of their problems. We coordinate referrals."
 
Thus, when Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), a Springfield, Ill.-based health system with hospitals spread across in Illinois and Wisconsin including in Litchfield, asked Litchfield Family Practice to be in a medical home pilot project back in 2009, it unsurpisingly accepted.
 

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