How a 20-location multi-specialty primary care medical group uses a Virtual Office powered by CAREMINDr to manage costly chronic conditions.
About five years ago, Jon Regis, MD, Founder and CEO of Reliance Medical Group, a 20-location multi-specialty primary care group in the Atlantic City area, had enough. Between the demands of electronic health records (EHRs), patient-centered medical homes, value-based care payment models and so many other requirements, he knew the practice could no longer operate the way it did when it was founded 36 years ago.
“Our medical offices were already so busy, so I knew we couldn’t put even more demands on them,” says Regis, who is the group’s President and CEO. “That’s when Vince Papaccio, our COO, suggested to me the idea for the Virtual Office. Although not an entirely new concept, the way we are executing it is unique.”
The Virtual Office, which opened late last year, is a hub for the practice’s remote patient monitoring (RPM) services, which complement and extend their in-person care. At the Virtual Office headquarters, nine care coordinators and clinical leaders manage thousands of patients with chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, with information technology and phones.
The patients, meanwhile, are connected to their providers from the comfort of their homes and communicate through an innovative mobile RPM (mRPM) solution from CAREMINDr.
Each day, the clinical coordinators review patients’ responses to a short list of clinically validated health survey questions they answer through CAREMINDr, as well as biometric readings from home blood pressure cuffs and blood glucose tests. If one of the care coordinators flags a potential issue based on the responses or the test results, the clinician will call the patient. This mRPM care model enables Reliance Medical Group to keep a close eye on patients with chronic medical conditions in between face-to-face appointments, to gauge their adherence to treatment plans and to monitor their progress.
This monitoring is especially useful when patients can’t leave their homes, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic where social isolation is recommended, especially for patients who have comorbidities and are over age 65—which is the demographic of many of Reliance Medical’s patients who are part of the program.
“This is a groundbreaking idea,” says Vincent J. Papaccio, MBA, Reliance’s Chief Operating Officer. “It significantly changes the traditional way that most practices deliver patient care—which, given the regulatory and economic challenges we face, … continue reading