Bob Trinh says phone calls don’t stop. They come from all over the country, usually from other medical providers or those involved in the medical community, all wanting to get to know the unique workings of The Villages Health. “I get that every day,” Trinity said of the wise callers. As CEO of The Villages Health, he is leading a community-based, patient-centered health care system that is known for its innovation, quality, passion and service, deliberately reflecting some of The Villages ’core values. While they admire the eyes, Dr. Trinh and Dr. Jeff Lowenkron, TVH’s medical director, focus on what’s more important than admissions or outpatient consultations: their relationship with patients.
“We think it’s important for them to have a good experience,” Lowenkron said.
In fact, he asks his medical team to think: what is our product?
“They’re really buying the relationship,” Lowenkron said of patients who want to connect with the doctor and medical staff, spend quality time, and trust patients they can trust.
Medical degrees and certificates do not guarantee that you will receive excellent care, but the experience you receive does, Lowenkron said.
TVH patients expect a text message after leaving seven primary care centers or two specialist care centers. Ask them to rate the day’s appointment on a scale of 1-10. Patients who respond with 9 or 10, the highest favorable rating, are called “promoters”. Trinh said TVH has a 96% Net Promoter score out of its 58,000 patients.
Rare assessments with a score of 8 or lower ask the patient what they can do to make a better call, but they are never asked to change the score.
Lowenkron said opinions help them learn, grow, and evolve into the future.
“With our care model we know that patients do better with that,” he said.
There is no doubt that more patients are being kept out of the hospital compared to national figures. TVH patients are admitted to the hospital at only 150 per 1,000, well below the per capita number of other Medicare Advantage patients across the country, which is 249 admitted per 1,000 patients, Trinh said. It’s even better compared to traditional Medicare, which has an average of 370 hospitalizations per 1,000.
With the exception of all of TVH’s focus centers, they operate in the Sumter County portion of The Villages, the nation’s largest growing county in the last decade, according to census data. As the village attracts more people, Trench needs to plan ahead to take care of its new neighbors.
“As the community grows, we will open new care centers,” he said. “We have a wonderful working relationship with The Villages development team. We can put it in the right place that best serves the patient (next care center).
Between 2020 and 2021, TVH admitted 5,000 new patients, Trinh said.
To accommodate current and future patients, the role of new patients is being replaced by the ability to fill in information online, providing greater convenience to patients and reducing the time required for staff to process procedures.
Almost 10 years ago, the creation of the TVH model for primary patient care was just the beginning of innovative ideas.
Recently, TVH has launched a “meeting notification” system that warns staff if one of the patients enters the hospital’s emergency department. The notification system is completely voluntary on the part of the patient, but 98% of those requested took the opportunity to report it to the primary care physician.
“The only way to intervene early is to know early,” Lowenkron said, referring to a primary care team that knows the patient.
As a grant is funding more innovation, TVH is hiring two paramedics for a program that monitors at-risk patients at home. Lowenkron said that one serves north and the other is south of The Villages, and the results of the preliminary follow-up show that the program is a success.
TVH recently created a Tandem and Collaborative Care program for Medicare Advantage patients at full risk. Lowenkron said his holistic approach is creating an improvement for patients dealing with anxiety, depression and insomnia. Behavioral health disorders help primary care physicians to be more comfortable treating these high-risk patients, and receiving primary care physician care helps remove the stigma that mental health issues can have.
“For the patient, they realize that there is more than one person in my corner,” Lowenkron said.
Your favorite doctor
One of the challenges facing TVH is finding new members of their physicians and support teams in a national health scene that is suffering from a shortage of doctors and other medical professionals.
“We meet weekly on this,” Trinh said of the recruitment efforts.
The effort is ongoing, including TVH staff who recently attended an internal medicine conference at the American College of Physicians in Chicago. Lowenkron said most doctors are trained to work in hospitals, and hiring primary care physicians is difficult.
“The best person to deal with is dealing with multiple conditions,” Lowenkron said of primary care. “We’re moving away from dealing with one thing at a time.”
Trinh acknowledges that the physician suffers from ongoing recruitment efforts from a variety of practices, so TVH’s efforts prioritize a unique opportunity to care for the patient. He believes residents can help TVH stand out in the sea of opportunity.
Trinh said doctors may be more open to hearing about The Villages if the entry is from a former patient. Residents are encouraged to email [email protected] with suggestions from their favorite physicians at their last residence, which would be included in the TVH care model.
Patient Support Center
In a move to improve service and hospitality, The Villages Health changed the first point of contact for patients. The practice call center is now the Patient Support Center.
“It’s about serving our patients and meeting their needs,” said LaDonna Collinsworth, director of shared services.
Voices 30 and 40 on the 844-TVH-WELL (884-9355) line are highly trained to move patient care in the right direction, he said. Whether new or established patients, those in the Patient Support Center will ensure that the patient’s communication with the medical team is directed to the right person and that the patient’s needs are met.
The Patient Support Center, available on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., can assist patients in scheduling appointments, communicating with the clinical team, submitting prescriptions and referrals, providing testing and vaccination scheduling guidelines, supporting the online patient portal, and more. .
“All of this is done in a professional manner, providing exceptional service and hospitality,” Collinsworth said.
Curt Hills Senior Managing Editor can be reached at 352-753-1119. 5287, or [email protected]