HealthAmerica and Preferred Primary Care Physicians launch pilot program to deliver accessible, patient-centered and coordinated

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HealthAmerica and Preferred Primary Care Physicians (Preferred) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have launched a new pilot program with the goal of providing more coordinated and patient-centered primary care and improved communications among patients, their physicians and their care team.

Preferred consists of 32 board-certified physicians and five physician extenders specializing in internal medicine and family practice. Preferred has 14 practice locations in the South Hills and three locations in Uniontown in Fayette County. In addition, Preferred offers state-of-the-art outpatient centers for cardiac testing, sleep disorders, and physical therapy.

This unique pilot program, which was effective September 1, 2011, leverages the advanced medical home model established by the American College of Physicians. The medical home is a team-based model of care led by a personal physician who provides continuous and coordinated care throughout a patient's lifetime to maximize health outcomes. Care is facilitated by the patient's personal physician across all elements of the complex health care system, including subspecialty care, hospitals, home health agencies and nursing homes.

"This arrangement is unique in that patients and families will participate in quality improvement activities at the practice level," said Dr. Robert S. Mirsky, chief medical officer for HealthAmerica. "HealthAmerica will play an important role because of the data we track on quality measures, which is critical for coordinating care and reporting on the results. Our data are also key to promoting the practice of evidence-based medicine and using decision-support tools to guide clinical decision making."

"Under this pilot program, we will continue to leverage our advanced technologies and care management capabilities to support the goal of optimal patient outcomes. These are driven by a care-planning process and effective communication among HealthAmerica, the patient, the patient's family and his or her physician," said Gregory Erhard, executive director for Preferred Primary Care Physicians. "We will place a focus on prevention and seamless, coordinated care. Our electronic health record (EHR) and our robust data mining capabilities will be crucial in supporting optimal patient care, performance measurement, patient education, and communication."

HealthAmerica members who use participating practices in the program will benefit from the highly coordinated care. Customers benefit from the cost savings generated by improved outcomes and avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures. Provider incentives for achieving quality goals help keep costs down and keep medical care focused on prevention strategies and managing patients with chronic diseases.

About HealthAmerica

With over 36 years of providing health care benefits, HealthAmerica has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted and experienced health insurers in Pennsylvania. The company ranks among the highest rated health plans in the nation for HMO and POS plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.* Its Medicare plan, HealthAmerica Advantra, ranks 24 out of 341 Medicare plans evaluated nationwide, ranking second in the state and among the top 25 health plans in the nation.* HealthAmerica provides a range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products, including self-funded, Medicare, Medicaid, indemnity, nongroup, and pharmacy plans. It currently has "Excellent" accreditation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its commercial HMO, POS, and Medicare plans. HealthAmerica's corporate offices are in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit HealthAmerica's website at

*NCQA's "Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-12 - Private; NCQA's "Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2011-12 - Medicare.

About Preferred Primary Care Physicians

Preferred Primary Care Physicians (Preferred) was founded in 1995 by ten primary care physicians in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. These physicians shared a common commitment to provide the highest quality care to the patients that they served. To that end, the group initiated quality improvement programs, participated in research studies to advance primary care practice, and implemented electronic medical records (EHR) in 2003, well before most other practices. Today, Preferred Primary Care Physicians consists of 32 board-certified physicians specializing in internal medicine and family practice. PPCP has 14 practice locations in the South Hills and three locations in Uniontown in Fayette County. In addition, PPCP offers state-of-the-art outpatient centers for cardiac testing, sleep disorders, and physical therapy. Preferred Healthcare Informatics, LLC, a subsidiary of Preferred Primary Care Physicians delivers EHR and information technology consulting services to physician practices and hospitals, including readiness assessment, implementation, support, content development, and meaningful use achievement.



for HealthAmerica
Kendall Marcocci, 717-540-6746
[email protected]



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