LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2015) – The Kentucky Primary Care Association (KPCA) and UK HealthCare announced a groundbreaking partnership aimed at providing more than 800 patient care providers access to UK HealthCare support services such as supply chain contracts, medical professional placement services, practice transformation support/training and an after-hours pediatric call triage center.
KPCA has more than 250 member clinics from Paducah to Pikeville and from Covington to the Tennessee border serving some of Kentucky’s most underserved citizens and focusing on improving the health of those they serve.
The partnership provides KPCA members access to services at heavily discounted rates or at no charge to the facilities. One of the prominent features of the partnership is the recognition of KPCA organizations as “affiliate” sites under UK HealthCare’s group purchasing contract. Under this purchasing arrangement, the savings to some of the larger health centers and clinics is quiet significant, adding thousands back to the annual budget, and more efficient management of purchasing volume.
“Primary care physicians, especially those in rural areas, have the extra burden of high patient volume, limited staff, and stretched resources,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “By partnering, UK HealthCare and KPCA members can grow important programs and services for their patients while also controlling and reducing operating costs. In today’s health care environment, this will be a game changer for many KPCA members.”
However, this collaboration is as much about improving the quality of care provided in KPCA member clinics as it is reducing costs.
“By addressing some of these issues related to costs, clinics with already scarce resources can instead focus on improving the quality of care provided across the Commonwealth,” said Joseph E. Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Primary Care Association. “We’ve had a longstanding association with the University and UK HealthCare and this partnership elevates that relationship by adding a strong commitment to assisting rural doctors, nurses and practice managers who face some of the toughest transitions taking place in medicine today.”
KPCA members will have access to robust staffing solutions through Kentucky Medical Professional Placement Services and the Kentucky Medical Opportunities Website, an online marketplace linking candidates to vacancies across the state, active job search features for recruits, and links to offline events that link job seekers with interested organizations looking to fill positions across the clinical spectrum.
This cooperation also affords KPCA members access to practice transformation services, or Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) consultants, that work with intensive cohorts across the state, assisting practices in the transition to quality and value-based care models. As a compliment to the PCMH model, UK HealthCare’s afterhours pediatric call triage service has been extended to KPCA members as well, providing organizations with around the clock access to specially trained registered nurses and over twenty-six community pediatricians and nurse practitioners throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky.
The Kentucky Primary Care Association was founded in 1976 as a private, non-profit corporation of community health centers, rural health clinics, primary care centers and other organizations and individuals concerned about access to health care services for the state’s underserved rural and urban populations. Association members are providers of primary care – first contact, broadly trained physicians, nurses and other professionals deliver that whole-person health care.
UK HealthCare is the University of Kentucky’s health care system and encompasses UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, UK Good Samaritan Hospital and Kentucky Children’s Hospital as well as the patient care services at Markey Cancer Center, Gill Heart Institute and all UK’s clinics and outreach locations. UK HealthCare is a research intensive, referral academic medical center that aims to ensure all Kentuckians — no matter how complex their medical problem — can be taken care of in Kentucky and not required to leave the state for advanced subspecialty medical care.