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PHYSICIAN VISITS: Same day appointments with specialists

It is more common for health care providers to offer same-day visits to primary care physicians, but at least one health system is also offering same-day visits to specialists on a large-scale basis.  Allegheny Health Network (Pittsburgh, PA), an 8-hospital system with 250 outpatient clinics, started to offer this option in January 2017.  In the first few months, there have been 36,000 patients who scheduled a same-day appointment, with about one-third seeing specialists.  Patient satisfaction with this option is reported as being very high.


Castellucci, M. (2017, April 3). Offering same-day doc visits. Modern Healthcare, 47(14), 32.  Click here for link to publisher: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170401/MAGAZINE/304019981

The Advisory Board. (2017, February 28). The 5 lessons Allegheny Health Network learned from offering same-day specialist appointments. The Daily Briefing. Click here: https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2017/02/28/allegheny-specialist-same-day

Venteicher, W. (2017, January 19). Allegheny Health Network to schedule same-day doctors’ appointments. Trib Live.  Click here: http://triblive.com/news/healthnow/11804612-74/appointments-health-patients

Allegheny Health Network website has some FAQs about this service here: https://www.ahn.org/same-day

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Practice cuts 30-day readmission rate to 1 percent

New West Physicians (Denver, CO) is a primary care practice with 41 family physicians, 17 internists, 10 mid-level practitioners, and 8 hospitalists.  It is included in this series of accountable care organization (ACO) case studies because it represents characteristics of a mature ACO without being formally partnered with a hospital or other providers.  New West Physicians has hospitalist coverage at three local hospitals who take charge of patients immediately in the emergency department and, through use of ED observation, work to avoid inpatient admission.  New West Physicians has a number of strategies to avoid hospital readmission, and has been successful in cutting readmissions to 1 percent after 30 days, compared with the national rate of from 6 to 18 percent. 

Source: Moore, K.D., and Coddington, D.C.  ACO Case Study: New West Physicians, Denver, CO.  Washington, D.C.: American Hospital Association, Jan. 2011.  Full text free here: http://www.aha.org/aha/content/2011/pdf/aco-case-new-west-physicians.pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org