Transforming Primary Care: Greater Buffalo United Independent Physician Association

Nurse Care Triage Line Putting  Emergency Room Diversion Program on Fast-Track

About Millennium Partner
On Nov. 15, 2009, Dr. Raul Vazquez founded and incorporated the Greater Buffalo United Independent Physician Association (GBUIPA). On Feb. 27, 2013,

GBUIPA was officially incorporated as the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN). That same month, GBUAHN began to enroll its first members.

Today, Dr. Vazquez serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of G-Health Enterprises, which consists of GBUAHN, GBUIPA, and the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization (GBUACO). G-Health Enterprises has over 450 participating providers. GBUAHN serves more than 7,600 members in the Western New York area. GBUACO, which includes 140 Buffalo-area providers, was authorized by the New York State Department of Health as the state’s first ACO, a model that pays groups of providers to work together to reduce costs and increase health care outcomes. www.gbuahn.org

About Promising Practice

The objective of the Fast-Track Emergency Room Diversion Program is to lower hospital visit patterns in patients who are considered “high utilizers.” The GBUIPA targeted a cohort of patients with four or more ER visits and/or three or more inpatient admissions over the 12 months prior. A nurse care triage line was set up and staffed by RNs to handle over-the-phone triage of patients and get immediate access for home visits, same-day primary care evaluation, or appropriate referral to the hospital.

Promising Practice Highlights/Results

Steve Nelson, Millennium Director of Value Based Payment and Performance

The GBUIPA conducted significant patient education on the availability of the triage line during practice visits through outbound call education and other means. The program also provides telehealth as needed and a medication adherence program through use of the MedaCube system for patients whose adherence issues were leading to emergency room visits. Through
January 2020, the program has reported dozens of successful ED diversions.

To learn more about how the GBUIPA triage line is serving patients, especially during the response to COVID-19, Steve Nelson, Millennium Director of Value Based Payment and Performance spoke with Dr. Vazquez and Chelsea Adamski, MPA, Assistant Director, VBP, G-Health. Please click on the following to hear more:

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