California’s Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA), a nonprofit multi-stakeholder group focused on promoting quality improvement, accountability and affordability, will lead a project designed to promote appropriate care in both northern and southern California.
IHA will partner with provider organizations Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (San Diego County) and Sutter Health (Sacramento/Central Valley/San Francisco Bay), the California chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP-CA), the Center for Healthcare Decisions (CHCD) and Blue Shield of California (BSC). Their project will aim to reduce:
- utilization of antibiotics for adult bronchitis;
- diagnostic testing for low back pain;
- pre-operative stress testing and imaging for uncomplicated headache; and
- repetitive complete blood count and chemistry testing.
The project team’s key interventions include implementing shared decision-making between patients and providers, a physician decision support strategy using printed materials and computer-based point-of-care tools and in-person meetings with participating physicians to discuss their utilization data.
IHA’s project goes well beyond seeking to influence care at the participating provider organizations. For example, CHCD will conduct extensive consumer research, including a dozen focus groups throughout the state to discuss the most appropriate ways to reduce wasteful care, and BSC will share Choosing Wisely materials with its 3.4 million members through print, online and mobile media. ACP-CA will communicate with its 9,300 internist members about the campaign and work with physicians to overcome any barriers to implementation.
** IHA Senior Vice President of Programs and Policy, Jill Yegian, PhD, discusses the organization’s plans for implementation. **