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MCS launches ‘Conexión de Salud’ initiative to retain physicians in P.R.

Insurance provider MCS announced a three-fold initiative to retain physicians in Puerto Rico and increase provider compensation, spearheaded by its new educational initiative, “MCS Conexión de Salud.”

The program is  complemented by a value-based compensation model for primary and specialty physicians, and a cutting-edge information technology platform provided to physicians. The combination of these elements will have an immediate and positive effect on physician retention and patient care for MCS members, the company stated.

MCS’ new Conexión de Salud is part of the larger “Vivela MCS” platform and focuses on helping the company’s network providers to continuously enhance their knowledge base to maintain the highest level of quality and effectiveness in care delivery, in addition to providing relevant information about health and wellbeing to MCS members and the general public.

“Conexión de Salud” seeks to improve the experience for MCS providers and members. As part of this initiative, MCS will increase compensation for its highest quality physicians, starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, the provider confirmed.

“Paying for quality-over-quantity is becoming an industry standard. We at MCS will be taking this standard a step further by providing our network physicians with the tools needed to achieve those quality standards that will result in higher performance reimbursement,” said MCS CEO Jim O’Drobinak.

“In addition, we will focus on bringing this information directly to our valued physicians and members in the most creative and efficient manner available. Through better collaboration and communication with our network experts, we expect to trigger a domino effect that in the end will contribute to the retention of medical talent, while creating a healthier society,” said O’Drobinak. “It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.”

Physician migration is one of those challenges that pose a threat to the local healthcare system, the island’s economy and to society itself. MCS, along with other healthcare industry players, has lobbied through MMAPA[1] for improving the Puerto Rico healthcare delivery system by providing for permanent funding relief in federal healthcare programs to stop the loss of physicians, among other issues.

Most recently, MMAPA is actively leading support for H.R. Bill 6809, sponsored by Resident Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, which would introduce $1.0 billion in additional health funding for Puerto Rico, while mandating a significant portion of the funds to the providers.

For her part, MCS Chief Medical Officer Inés Hernández-Roses, emphasized that the value-based payment model means that the way physicians are being reimbursed is transitioning from a base of quantity to one of quality.

“The value-based compensation model ties payments for healthcare services to quality rather than quantity of services provided. Everything is centered around patient outcomes, such as reducing hospital readmissions or improving preventive care,” said Hernández explained.

“Providers are rewarded, when all of the above mentioned elements converge into one effective care-giving to our members. Results show that MCS Classicare members participating in our innovative Care Management programs have the lowest readmission rates, visits to emergency rooms and lower rates of complications. This reaffirms we are on the right track,” she added.

Value-based care is driven by data, therefore, “incorporating the right IT tools into their workflow is essential to implement this model into their daily practices. That is why we have entered a partnership with DataLink to implement the Carebook software tool that will allow us to communicate and work together with our providers to improve patient care in 2019,” O’Drobinak added.

The first event of MCS Conexión de Salud for providers is slated for Oct. 18, in Aguadilla’s Courtyard by Marriott. The symposium: “Integrated Mental Health and Chronic Disease Management: Challenges and Opportunities”, will bring together field experts to analyze mental health issues from different perspectives and elucidate the negative impact mental issues may have on physical health.

The event has been submitted to the División Central de Educación Continua y Estudios Profesionales for 5.5 contact hours as CME credits. Interested healthcare service providers can register for the event at www.conexiondesalud.com and leave contact details to be informed about this and future events.

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