Published in Healthworx Magazine September 2017
As the administrator for a pediatric healthcare practice, I spend most days thinking about the way we can live, work and practice medicine in an intentionally healthy community. Why can’t Central Oregon be the healthiest community in the country? What hurdles are preventing our kids from being healthier, and happier? I don’t believe there are any obstacles when we work together as parents, schools, healthcare providers, insurance and government representatives.
We can improve the patient experience and the health of our children, while reducing the costs of care. Our children deserve nothing less.
It’s an enormous responsibility to ensure all children have access to excellent healthcare, and I’m energized to see our progress with innovative practices and strong partnerships. As the primary medical home for most of the pediatric patients in five counties, Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA) can make a consequential impact on the health of the entire region. By exceeding regional and state benchmark data, we’re doing just that.
The barriers to a healthier community are no longer in place now that all families have coverage. And with COPA’s legacy in pediatric care and focus on this regional goal, we have the opportunity to improve even more on the outcomes and move toward an overall healthier population.
Pediatricians at COPA are also taking a leadership role at both the state and regional levels influencing health policy, impacting quality medical outcomes, and working with partners to reduce healthcare costs.
CHANGING THE WAY HEALTHCARE IS DELIVERED
Out-of-date “treat and release” models cannot produce the improved outcomes or patient experience that we are achieving today. For many years, COPA has embraced a progressive model of care. We are focused on the complete health of a child from physical to mental health, and their overall wellbeing. This includes oral health, nutrition, exercise, social determinants, and readiness to learn, to mention a few.
We are also creating new programs that are dedicated to the improvement of our patients that have complex, chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, ADD/ADHD and obesity.
PEDIATRIC CENTER OF EXCELLENCE – INTEGRATED CARE
COPA’s Pediatric Center of Excellence provides parents with fully integrated and coordinated care for a child’s entire physical and behavioral needs. For that reason, behavioral health consultants and child psychologists are practicing at the COPA clinic so patients receive in-the-moment assistance with mental health issues.
COPA physicians also coordinate care with local pediatric specialists like radiology, orthopedics, cardiology, endocrinology, audiology, gastroenterology and others.
In addition, COPA hosts 15 pediatric specialists that regularly visit from Randall Children’s and Doernbecher Children’s Hospitals in Portland to serve patients close to home.
Patients are also experiencing innovative, non-medical services that are not reimbursed by insurance. Our care coordination team provides support for parents to ensure kids have smooth connections between their pediatrician, pediatric specialists, schools, psychologists, and available community services.
While there are many other examples, I’m especially energized by the group of dedicated COPA doctors and caregivers, along with our partners in the community, all focused on creating the healthiest community in the nation. It allows us to truly see the opportunities for the future when we can envision healthy, happy children ready to engage in life and contribute to the success of their community.