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AMA: 6 Steps to Help Ensure Patients Get Preventive Care

Panel management helps physicians provide preventive and chronic care to all patients

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Panel management, or population health management, can help physicians provide necessary preventive and chronic care to all patients regardless of their visit frequency, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

An AMA module in the STEPS Forward collection describes how to implement panel management to make sure all patients receive necessary preventive and chronic care irrespective of how frequently they visit the practice.

According to the report, six steps can be used to guide implementation of panel management. First, practices should develop a registry with medical information about immunizations, screenings, and disease-specific laboratory results for patients. A health maintenance template should be developed to prompt staff by listing the preventive and chronic care tests. Each practice should decide on clinical practice guidelines for preventive and chronic care services. Staff should be trained in panel management to help improve practice efficiency. Care gaps should be identified, with exercises offered on how to identify these gaps. Gaps should be closed using “in-reach” and “out-reach” methods, by discussing care gaps identified during a visit and by contacting patients who rarely come to the office.

“Population health management, I think, is best used to identify opportunities and then you know where to put your efforts to develop different policies, or different patient flows or different visit frequencies to close those gaps and provide better care,” Wisconsin internal medicine physician Richard Fossen, M.D., said in a statement.

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