Case Study: Genesys Health Works

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Basic Characteristics of the Health System

Genesys Health System has a care model called Health Works, created to provide healthcare management and improve the health of the population in their native Flint, Michigan, and in Genesee Country and to improve “patients’ experience of care and lowering the per capita cost of care” (Klein, et al, 2010). As a nonprofit and integrated health care system, it provides medical care services to patients in Genesee County, Michigan, and surrounding areas. Health Works includes a 410-bed, acute-care teaching hospital, the Genesys Regional Medical Center. The hospital provides second-level trauma services, a home health agency, a durable medical equipment supplier, a convalescent center, resident and home hospice care, and several ancillary and diagnostic services and sites. The Genesys Regional Medical Center is located on the southern edge of Flint (Klein, 2010), is easily accessible, and provides the necessary services for everyone located in the community.

Approach to Primary Care

Genesys’ Health Works has several distinguishable characteristics that set its services and approach to primary care apart from others. According to the Genesys website site, the company prides itself on specific services (Genesys, 2013). Health Works focuses on health rather than disease, the promotion of healing relationships with physicians, health navigators that support both patients and providers, linking them with community resources to promote health for all involved. As well, they believe in integrating a network of healthcare providers and in working together through community partnerships. By working with the community, they pay special attention to the poor and to those who are vulnerable (Genesys, 2013), those patients who cannot usually afford healthcare and are often ignored. Genesys aims to help these people in decreasing health costs and allowing everyone equal access.

Approach to Quality Improvement

Genesys’ Health Works strives to improve health care and its cost for all patients who need it. Improving health care access in the community allows people to live healthier lives and to work harder for themselves and their neighbors.The poor state of Genesee County, the area local to Genesys, indicates the great need for the promotion of healthy behavior in the community. According to the case study, Genesee County is last or nearly last in overall health. This is one of the reasons for an increased cost for emergency room visits and the like. Health Works is not only a program that offers healthcare and hospital visits to those who cannot afford it, but also one that encourages individuals to be their healthiest self in order to decrease such costs (Klein, et al, 2010). Physical activity, a healthy diet, and the avoidance of tobacco and other substances that may harm the body are all ways that Health Works helps to keep medical costs down in the community and beyond.

Approach to Coordination of Care

Genesys Health Works continually gets both local and national recognition for its accomplishments in the field, especially among the surrounding population. Most recently, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement shared Genesys’ “Triple Aim” program stories that spoke on the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act and healthcare policies. Health Works was named one of five significant programs in the nation to share their success with changing the health of their community. Because Genesys’ Health Works program creates partnerships, it has achieved significant savings in health care costs (Genesys, 2013). The Affordable Care Act is discussed in a way that it supplements the work that Genesys is doing to improve the healthcare status and the level of medical costs in their community.

In David Balto’s “Making Health Reform Work: Accountable Care Organizations and Competition,” he also speaks on the topic of the Affordable Care Act. He writes that Accountable Care Organizations and their aim to provide better health care as a system, not as one unit, is an “important part of the Affordable Care Act’s attempt to spur greater integration and efficiency” (Balto, 2011). The ACO represents a single unit, however, that is responsible for delivering high-quality service, based on high-quality medicine at a lowered cost (Balto, 2011). Although it is a far-fetched idea now, Genesys is uniting the community in a mission to become healthier and more productive as one unit.

Benefits of Expanding Health Care Access

When people have access to basic health care and can visit a clinic for basic ailments, they are less likely to let these problems turn from bad to worse. When people are unable to go to the hospital, they simply have to learn to move past sickness and hurt, because there is nothing that they can do; they cannot afford to fix themselves. The end result is an Emergency Room visit that is very urgent and more than likely reveals serious problems that could have been avoided with earlier intervention.

In the analysis of 30 indicators of prevention, quality, and access to hospital use and health outcomes, Scorecard documents show that, between lacking and leading states, there is up to four times more disparity in performance in low-income areas, with large differences between states, varying by income. The study says that if all states were at the levels of the leading states, “an estimated 86,000 fewer people would die prematurely and tens of millions more adults and children would receive timely preventative care” (Schoen, et al, 2013). In the deficient areas, people tend to be unhealthy because of a lack of health care and the lack of motivation to become more healthy. One of the great advantages of the Health Works program is bringing a positive attitude into low-income areas and working to change them.

In low-income areas, healthcare coverage is not as common, and when people are able to get welfare assistance, it is usually just basic coverage. In the state of Michigan, 12.7 percent of the population is completely uninsured. In the Flint area, 22.8 percent are uninsured (Klein, et al, 2010). When everyone has access to at least the most basic health care, all parties are better off.

Community Collaboration

Genesys’ Health Works handles health-related matters in Flint, Michigan and the surrounding Genesee County. The company prides itself on working to allow all members of the community, despite their financial or social position, to get the healthcare that they need and deserve.

References

Balto, D. (2011). Making health reform work: Accountable care organizations and competition. Center for American Progress. Council of Accountable Physician Practices. Retrieved from http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/pdf/aco_competition.pdf.

Genesys. (2013). Genesys Health Works. Retrieved from http://www.genesys.org/GRMCWeb.nsf/0/668F2B7E8639D626852576CF00625E85.

Klein, S., & McCarthy, D. (2010). Genesys Health Plan: Pursuing the triple aim through a primary care-bases delivery system, integrated self-management support, and community partnerships. New York: Commonwealth Fund. Retrieved from http://www.commonwealthfund.org

Scheon, C., Radley, D.C., Riley, P., Lippa, J.A., Berenson, J., Diermody, C., & Shih, A. (2013). Health care in the two Americas: Findings from the Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013. The Common Wealth Fund. Retrieved from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2013/Sep/Low-Income-Scorecard.aspx?page=all.