PA Clinical Network, Guidehealth team up to make value-based care easier for independent docs

The PA Clinical Network has tapped health tech company Guidehealth for a multiyear partnership they say will drive a greater push into value-based care for physicians in the state.

The Pennsylvania-based organization is a clinically integrated network led by physicians and backed by the state's medical society, according to the announcement. The group will tap into Guidehealth's AI-enabled tools and clinical services, which will make it easier for providers to drive better outcomes and a better patient experience at a lower cost.

The goal, according to the partners, is to allow physicians in the Keystone State to take an easier path to greater risk. John Pagan, M.D., president of the PA Clinical Network, told Fierce Healthcare that its members are largely small, independent docs across the state, and, while they provide great care to their patients, they lack the scale on their own to make value-based care work.

The Guidehealth team will, for instance, take care of notification and outreach to patients, reducing the administrative burden for the physicians, Pagan said. Physician and clinician burnout is a major concern in healthcare, with many front-line providers choosing to leave the industry due to those struggles.

"Many of these practices, especially post COVID, do not have a lot of extra resources or personnel to be following up and contacting and coordinating patients between visits," he said. "We now with this partnership are able to actually reach those patients before, after and in-between visits to make sure that they are getting the ideal care that their physician has prescribed."

For Guidehealth, expanding into Pennsylvania by partnering with the PA Clinical Network builds on decades of work it's done with providers in this space, and it has seen success in closing care gaps and improving complex care management in other team-ups.

Its technology embeds tools called Healthguides in the providers' workflows, which offer clinical resources they can use at the point of care to build out care plans and patient monitoring. It also deploys key data analytics tools for population health, according to the announcement.

Mark Selna, M.D., president and chief operating officer of Guidehealth, told Fierce Healthcare that the partnership is designed to drill down into the challenges small, rural providers face. 

Thanks to the Healthguides, "we can support the primary care physician in a very timely way to make sure that his or her patients are getting what they need," he said.

Though the partnership is in early days, Pagan said it has the potential to be a strong "proof of concept" for the future as providers continue to adapt to the demands of value-based care. Critical to making the relationship work, he said, is the fact that the two organizations have strong cultural and mission alignment from the get-go.

"I think the thing that's so at the core important even before you start talking about alignments and partnerships is the philosophical alignment," Pagan said, "the commitment to great care, no matter where it's coming from. The commitment is to the doctors and making their lives and what they do easier."