Meet your new Physician Advocacy Liaison (PAL)
Melissa Kuruts, LPN, BBA, helps independent physicians and stresses the value of data.
The leaders at Valley Preferred have expressed the value of a PAL with a clinical background – someone who has been there, and knows what a practice is like from the inside. Melissa Kuruts, LPN, BBA, who has been with Lehigh Valley Health Network for 11 years, is exactly what the leaders had in mind, and has recently been promoted to PAL.
Melissa’s work is focused on independent and MATLV medical practices across LVHN’s geographic area, and helps physicians improve their quality scores. This starts with a personal outreach session at a physician’s office or a phone call to review practice data.
“As health care moves more toward value based care and hospitals and health care organizations are taking on risk, having data available is really important,” says Melissa, who spends three out of five days at practices. “Fortunately, Valley Preferred members have the advantage of the Secure Provider Portal (SPP), where they can see their care gaps and track their progress toward improvement.”
An outreach often begins by reviewing a quality measure in which a particular practice is not performing well, revealed through data on the portal. From there, Melissa completes a root cause analysis and comes up with ways to improve based on her eight years of experience as a clinical coordinator in numerous outpatient settings, and as an Epic super user. “Physicians and practices have to meet their quality metrics,” says Melissa. “It’s a question of, ‘How do I get them there?’”
Melissa explains that those practices already utilizing an electronic medical, or health record (EMR or EHR) are at an advantage. Their data is readily available and married with their patient insurance claim data through the SPP. “You can readily see the care gaps, so it’s much easier and faster to improve quality scores,” she says. For those who perform record keeping manually, it’s much harder to get a handle on how the practice is doing. “We have to dig through a lot of paper,” she says. Either way, Melissa is ready and available to help.
As she looks to her goals for 2020, she envisions additional collaboration and providing education about the value of EMR. She wants to see more practices connected, and more physicians familiar with EMR so they are improving the patient experience during the visit. “I often hear physicians say they are afraid switching to EMR will be too interruptive. But in the long run, it will be needed to meet health care changes and improve existing workflows,” she says. “Practices should know that they have the full support of Valley Preferred in making that change!”
To schedule an outreach with Melissa, contact her at [email protected]