Affirmant to use Epic program to help coordinate patient care
- Affirmant is one of Michigan’s largest clinically integrated networks
- Epic software will allow doctors and hospitals to better share patient information
- Affirmant providers will be able to share data with doctors and hospitals on any platform
Affirmant Health Partners, one of Michigan’s largest clinically integrated state networks with 21 hospitals and more than 6,000 physicians, has purchased a health information software program from Epic Corp. that is expected to help doctors and hospitals that are not on an Epic electronic health information system to share information.
Kalamazoo-based Affirmant includes six health care systems and their affiliated physicians: Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo; Covenant HealthCare, Saginaw; Henry Ford Health System, Detroit; Lakeland Health , St. Joseph; MidMichigan Health, Midland; and Sparrow Health System, Lansing.
“This actually builds on the foundation we have created with all member health systems and physician groups,” said William Mayer, M.D., CEO of Affirmant. “What they have in place with their (electronic health record systems) takes us to the next level by incorporating information from patients from other non-Epic physicians and also engaging independent Affirmant doctors.”
Mayer said doctors can add their own documents and notes and discover gaps in care. The Epic “Healthy Planet Constellation” program also gives risk scores on patients that can tell them when a patient is at risk for a readmission, he said.
“Our vision is to achieve a healthy Michigan at an affordable cost,” Mayer said in a statement. “Realizing this vision will require greatly enhanced information to support better care decisions by physicians and patients.”
Epic’s Constellation software platform is designed specifically for clinically integrated networks and health plans. Mayer said Affirmant is the first large regional network to purchase the program, which he said cost “seven figures” to purchase, but would be shared among Affirmant’s partner systems.
Constellation will aggregate and analyze clinical and claims data to provide actionable, real-time patient information at the point-of-care, Epic said in a statement.
“Affirmant can identify variations in care and cost, standardize programs across chapters, and integrate insights directly into each organization’s Epic workflow,” Alan Hutchison, Epic’s vice president of population health, said in a statement.
For example, Hutchison said Epic can answer many questions, including where are increases in high-cost medication use and who is able to keep their congestive heart failure patients out of the hospital.
In June, 13-hospital Spectrum Health system dropped out of Affirmant after Spectrum decided that collective contracting requirements with member-owned health plans did not fit Spectrum’s strategy. Spectrum owns Priority Health and Henry Ford Health System owns Health Alliance Plan of Michigan. Priority Health and HAP often compete for contracts.