Getting Pediatricians Back to the Heart of Medicine

Care Network Case Study: Rocky Hill Pediatrics

Dr. Schwab examines a patientThese days, many pediatric primary care practices are feeling overwhelmed by competing priorities, from the daily challenges of running a small business to mastering insurance reimbursements. With the COVID-19 pandemic added to the mix, practices have been challenged like never before.

But Rocky Hill Pediatrics—an independent primary care practice centrally located in Rocky Hill, CT—reports it is thriving, thanks in part to its recent partnership with Connecticut Children’s Care Network. Jennifer Schwab, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician and partner of Rocky Hill Pediatrics, turned to the Care Network for help with quality improvement metrics and regularly taps into the network’s regional community of members for support.

“We were thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Connecticut Children’s and independent pediatricians across the state and Western Massachusetts to work together on improving quality and negotiating fair insurance contracts that are all exclusively focused on pediatrics,” Dr. Schwab said. “We are able to stay independent and thrive, and enjoy the opportunity to collaborate on quality programs with other practices. We share best practices, learn from each other and support each other.”

“Worrying Less about the Business Side of Medicine”

The Care Network combines community physicians and Connecticut Children’s pediatric specialists into one network that aims to improve patient care for children across the region. The partnership allows member practices to free up more of their providers’ days for what really matters to them: caring for kids.

“When we feel that our work is valued and important, it brings greater joy to each visit,” Dr. Schwab said. “[Being part of the Care Network] has truly gotten us back to the heart of medicine: being with patients and families, and worrying less about the business side of medicine.”

A Focus on Quality Improvement

The Care Network places a special emphasis on pediatric-specific quality metrics and best practices, and aims to prepare practices for the shift to value-based care. Member practices receive access to a suite of quality improvement tools, such as exclusive guides, learning opportunities, and on-demand webinars, along with one-on-one support.

“The quality metrics in our value-based contracts are pediatric-specific, measurable, achievable and are helping us improve the quality of care we provide,” Dr. Schwab said. “The whole staff has learned about the quality improvement process and been energized by this new way of thinking.”

This shift led the Rocky Hill Pediatrics team to brainstorm new ways to deliver care: “We transformed our flu clinic experience this fall and created drive-through flu clinics, which increased access to the flu vaccine and helped us get most of our doses done before November 1,” she said.

Special Support for COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, healthcare practices everywhere scrambled to get their hands on PPE and struggled to stay on top of the cascade of new information about the virus. Rocky Hill Pediatrics is grateful to the Care Network for steady support along the way.

“The Care Network was able to provide PPE at cost when we were unable to obtain it, it provided webinars to help us navigate the PPP loan and other small business supports,” Dr. Schwab said. “They also provided vaccines for our staff and have continued to advocate for fair reimbursement for telemedicine and the 99072 PPE code.”

“The Best Decision You’ll Make for Your Practice This Year”

Would joining Connecticut Children’s Care Network benefit your practice? Dr. Schwab thinks so: “Joining this group of amazing pediatricians and the incredible team from Connecticut Children’s will be the best decision you make for your practice this year. You will feel supported, empowered, and excited to practice pediatric medicine again.”

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