October 2, 2008

Top Care Quality Awards for Sutter Health Physician Groups

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine physician groups affiliated and aligned with Sutter Health have been honored as 'top performers' or 'most improved' in the care quality report from the independent and highly-respected health care leadership group Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA). The 2007 pay-for-performance (P4P) program results -- used by seven health plans to calculate incentive payments for physician groups -- showed gains in clinical quality and use of information technology, plus stable patient experience scores.

"We continue to listen to our patients and adapt and improve our services so their experiences are the best they can be -- each and every time," said Sutter Health President and CEO Patrick Fry. "The fact that so many of our physician organizations scored so well on these IHA benchmarks shows that our work is making a difference."

"Top Overall Performance Award" recipients

Seven of the 26 award-winning groups in Northern California are part of the Sutter Medical Network.

   -- Mills-Peninsula Medical Group (Burlingame)   -- Palo Alto Medical Foundation -- Camino Region (Mt. View)   -- Palo Alto Medical Foundation -- Palo Alto Region (Palo Alto)   -- Palo Alto Medical Foundation -- Santa Cruz Region (Santa Cruz)   -- Sutter Medical Foundation -- Sutter Medical Group (Sacramento)   -- Sutter Regional Medical Foundation -- Solano Regional Medical Group      (Fairfield)   -- Sutter West Medical Group (Davis)    

"Among the 230 physician groups participating in California's pay-for-performance program, these are the leaders in the use of evidence-based health care processes and health information technology that result in better care for patients," said Don Rebhun, M.D., regional medical director, HealthCare Partners and IHA board chair.

"Quality Improvement Award" recipients

Two of the four award-winning groups in Northern California are part of the Sutter Medical Network.

   -- Sutter Gould Medical Foundation (Modesto)   -- Sutter Medical Foundation North Bay (Santa Rosa)    

"Sutter Medical Network physicians are committed to transforming health care to achieve the highest levels of quality and service," said Jeff Burnich, M.D., Sutter Medical Network senior vice president and executive officer. "IHA's report card confirms the success of our ongoing collaborative efforts across our network."

The top overall performance awards were based on important health care quality measures, including preventive care and chronic care management, patient satisfaction, and use of information technology to assure patients received evidence-based care. The same measures were used to determine the quality improvement awards which recognized physician groups that showed significant improvement from 2006 to 2007. The complete pay-for-performance results are available at http://www.iha.org/.

According to the Integrated Healthcare Association, California's P4P effort is the largest physician incentive program in the United States, involving 35,000 physicians caring for more than 11 million individuals.

About Sutter Health

Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women's and children's services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit http://www.sutterhealth.org/.

Sutter Health

CONTACT: Brian Hudson of Sutter Health, direct, +1-916-286-6798, medialine, +1-916-286-6695, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.sutterhealth.org/http://www.iha.org/