Background and Challenges:
- Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey faces increasing patient demand and tighter reimbursements.
- The specialty of gastroenterology is complex, dealing with various diseases of the digestive tract, liver, and pancreas, and requires frequent patient interactions.
- The practice struggles with a backlog of preventive care and screenings, along with the need for high-touch dietary and behavioral interventions for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs).
Hybrid Virtual Care Approach:
- The practice has adopted a hybrid virtual care model to provide multidisciplinary care.
- This approach includes telehealth services, allowing easier access to dietitians and GI psychologists.
- The focus is on understanding the interplay between the brain and gut and managing the effects of diet, stress, and lifestyle on GI health.
- The model aims to surround patients with a care team to control symptoms, reduce unnecessary surgeries, and improve overall health outcomes.
Implementation and Results:
- Dietary interventions are delivered digitally, allowing more frequent interactions with dietitians.
- The practice also addresses anxiety related to GI conditions through virtual consultations with psychologists.
- The hybrid model relies on a two-way information exchange, including EHR and health information exchanges.
- The practice measures outcomes in terms of access, patient outcomes, and care enhancement.
Advice for Other Practices:
- Dr. George N. Pavlou, the CEO, advises other medical group leaders to consider partnerships with virtual care clinics.
- He emphasizes the importance of considering geography, subspecialty access, payment models, and clinician culture in these partnerships.
In essence, Gastroenterology Associates of New Jersey is leveraging hybrid virtual care to provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and patient-centered care, addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of gastrointestinal health.