Upstate physician network to transform health care

GREENVILLE, SC – More than 1,800 healthcare providers across nine upstate counties have partnered together to form MyHealth First Network (MyHFN), a physician-led network designed to improve care and address escalating healthcare costs.

The U.S. healthcare system is the most costly in the world. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), national health spending is expected to reach $4.6 trillion by 2020. The problem, however, is not just limited to the United States. Health systems and healthcare providers across the globe are under pressure to find ways to offer increased quality at an affordable cost. As a result, health care is shifting away from its current fee-for service model to one that is focused on value, which is defined as health outcomes achieved per dollars spent.

“It’s no secret that the U.S. healthcare system is unsustainable, but what is most important is how we fix it and that we work together across county and state lines to ensure the people in our communities have access to the best care possible,” said Angelo Sinopoli, MD, president of MyHFN and chief medical officer for Greenville Health System.

In 2007, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement set forth the Triple Aim as a means of optimizing health system performance. The three dimensions of the Triple Aim are to improve the patient experience, including quality and satisfaction; improve the health of populations; and reduce the per capita costs of health care.

MyHFN was developed with exactly this in mind. The network provides the infrastructure needed to operationalize clinical and cultural change to meet the three dimensions of the Triple Aim, and ultimately, transform health care.

“Attaining the Triple Aim requires a new approach – no longer will it suffice to just treat illness and try to prevent disorders in both children and adults. Health systems and providers need to provide a more coordinated approach to the populations they serve,” said Dr. Sinopoli. “If we can more actively prevent acute disease; reduce the development and complications of chronic disease; deliver care in a high-quality, cost effective setting; and get patients engaged in total health, then we will have made a significant impact toward better managing the health of our community and achieving the Triple Aim.”

For MyHFN, this coordinated approach to care involves network providers from varying disciplines working together to identify and utilize evidence-based best practices to treat patients with chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes. It also involves providers partnering with their patients in the delivery of this care. For example, patient participation has been proven to improve clinical outcomes; therefore, network providers will work with their patients to develop treatment plans that are customized to the individual and address barriers and gaps in care, as well as cultural differences and psychosocial issues that prevent compliance.

With help from the Care Coordination Institute, a Greenville-based non-profit with expertise in care coordination, evidence-based best practices and data analysis, MyHFN providers will be able to constantly monitor their patients’ health outcomes and receive information, education and training to improve those outcomes. In addition, the network’s IT infrastructure will allow for greater communication among providers.

For patients, all of this translates to higher quality care at an affordable cost.

“Coordinated, comprehensive care is critical to our ability to transform health care, but perhaps the most important element of that care is the patient-provider relationship. This relationship has to be strong to improve the health of entire communities,” said Joanne Skaggs, MD, an internal medicine physician with GHS Pediatrics & Internal Medicine. “I am proud to be part of a network that values the patient-provider relationship because I believe it is what will improve the health of people in Greenville County and the entire upstate community.”


About MyHealth First Network

MyHealth First Network (MyHFN) is a clinically integrated network of physicians and healthcare providers who share a common goal of improving health outcomes, reducing healthcare costs and enhancing the patient experience.

The network is led by a 12-member Board of Managers who provides leadership and oversight for the network, as well as a number of committees whose focus is on improving and standardizing care.

More than 1,800 healthcare providers across nine counties in the upstate region of South Carolina currently participate in the network. These counties include Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg.

To learn more about the network, visit myhfn.org.