John Muir Health’s Physician Network Recognized for Clinical Quality

Medical group one of 11 in California honored for work to fight diabetes and heart disease

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- John Muir Health’s non-profit medical group, the John Muir Physician Network, was recently recognized as one of 11 medical groups in the state and one of three in the Bay Area to meet the Right Care Initiative’s gold level of achievement. The award also recognized the efforts of John Muir Health’s medical centers to prevent hospital acquired infections. The California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) launched the initiative in 2007 as a public-private collaborative effort to improve clinical quality in three key areas: cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hospital acquired infections.

“We are very proud of this award because it recognizes the efforts of John Muir Health as an integrated health care system, including both our physicians and medical centers,” said Mike Kern, M.D., senior vice president and medical director of John Muir Health’s physician network. “Clearly, lives were saved or enhanced by the clinical quality improvements made for patients within our health system and we reduced health care costs overall. We know through experience that when quality improves, costs go down.”

The statewide goal of the Right Care Initiative is to reach the 90th percentile nationwide in the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) control measures, including blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. It is also designed to significantly reduce or eliminate hospital acquired infections. The 90th percentile targets met or exceeded by John Muir Health’s physician network include:

  • 73% of hypertensive patients with blood pressure controlled
  • 70% of patients with heart conditions with cholesterol controlled
  • 70% of diabetic patients with blood sugar controlled
  • 55% of diabetic patients with lipids controlled

“When you consider that diabetics who have their risk factors controlled reduce their chances of a heart attack by 90%, you can see the potential of this effort,” adds Dr. Kern. “The main benefit anyone gets from good preventive health care is to protect them from premature death or disability. We believe in partnering with our patients to help them stay healthy and reduce the risk of chronic or acute illnesses.”

The NCQA estimates that improving California’s cardiovascular disease and diabetes measures to the national HEDIS 90th percentile could annually save 1,694 to 2,818 lives in California. These improvements would also avoid $118 million in yearly hospital costs, 766,401 sick days and more than $125 million in lost productivity.

Key partners in the initiative include California health plans and medical groups, the California Chronic Care Coalition, University of California, Stanford University, RAND, American Diabetes Association, American Heart/Stroke Association, California Hospital Association, California Medical Association Foundation, California Pharmacy Foundation and other disease-based and community organizations throughout the state.

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization located east of San Francisco, serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of 925 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including the county’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. The health system also offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient, lab and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, emergency and high-risk obstetrics care. For more information, visit


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KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

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