McKenzie Medical Center and BlueCross Partner to Create Patient-Centered Medical Home: New Approach Focuses on Improving Health Care Outcomes & Reducing Medical Costs

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A home is typically the root of the family, a place that provides safety and security for all members involved; a place where trust and relationships are built. Using this same concept McKenzie Medical Center, has partnered with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee to establish a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for BlueCross members in West Tennessee. The PCMH extends to their branch locations at Bruceton Clinic and Dresden Specialty Clinic.

Health care today is frequently delivered in a fragmented manner. One doctor may treat certain conditions and specialists are trained to treat certain diseases. Lab tests, x-rays, CT scans, or other tests, can be performed in a number of different locations or even different cities. The current system does not always produce the best healthcare results in the most efficient manner. The Patient-Centered Medical Home is a promising model that has been proven to show better results, better costs, and higher patient satisfaction levels.

A medical home is a health care setting, usually a doctor's office, where the primary care physician leads a professional health care team to take responsibility of the ongoing care of patients through all stages of life. Members of the team also work to encourage patients to self-manage their conditions through shared goals, education and health coaches. The goal is to help improve quality of care and efficiency by creating partnerships between patients and primary care physicians.

"We're very excited to be a part of this innovative approach to deliver medical care to our patients and to help further improve on the quality of care we provide," said Dr. Volker Winkler, managing partner. "The most important concept this program enforces is that the patient is a full partner in his or her health care. And we're committed to making the most of that relationship. Delivering care in a medical home environment delivers great promise as a way to improve a patient's health and satisfaction with the system. The investment that BlueCross is making in our practice will allow us to improve our information technology capabilities and have the resources necessary to be more proactive in taking care of our patients."

BlueCross is supporting the PCMH program at McKenzie Medical Center by providing additional funding for health information technology, as well as an on-site care coordinator who engages in proactive outreach to patients and community. Additionally, BlueCross will reward the practice's performance based on quality outcomes and cost efficiency.

Stacey Birdwell, RN Care Coordinator is working with patients to determine who could most benefit from this program. "This program is an exciting proactive approach to treating patient health care needs. I look forward to working with patients and providers sharing a goal of improved health for our patients."

"The U.S. health care system is undergoing a massive transformation and every aspect of the industry is under the microscope," said Dr. Thomas Lundquist, vice president of performance and improvement for BlueCross. "The PCMH model promotes a change in the way care is delivered and financed by fostering unique patient-physician relationships that focus
on prevention and primary care."

The PCMH program allows members to receive greater medical access and personalized attention through their primary care physician. McKenzie Medical Center is developing a plan to provide confidential, secure patient online services which will give patients quick and convenient access to both their medical information and their personal provider. Personal health coaching is also provided. This improved access allows the patient to better manage their health care conditions, yielding positive outcomes such as improving quality and decreasing per-person health care costs, reducing emergency room visits and declining hospital admission trends.

McKenzie Medical Center will seek accreditation from the National Committee on Quality Assurance, an accrediting health care organization that established key standards for PCMH development.

About McKenzie Medical Center
McKenzie Medical Center (MMC) has been serving West Tennessee communities for more than 30 years. Throughout that time, the mission has always been to provide the same compassionate and quality care for patients that one would expect for their own families. "Every Patient, Every Time." MMC is currently expanding its present location at 205 Hospital Drive to include an additional 40,000 sq feet to enhance its ability to provide quality medical care including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/Maternity Care, Specialty Care, as well as all the latest diagnostic services in-house (including a full service lab, MRI, Digital Mammogram, Ultrasound and Cat-Scan). Branch offices include Bruceton Clinic and Dresden Specialty Clinic. For more information, call 731-352-7907.

About BlueCross
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's Web site at


“Thank you to Peggy in referrals for getting my husband in so quickly for his referral and sending him the xray and things he would need for his appointment.”