National Recognition For The Way Kelsey-Seybold Treats Patients

From left to right: Spencer Berthelsen, MD, chairman and managing director of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic; Margaret E. O'Kane, president, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Pat Hernandez; KUHF reporter.
A Houston based medical group is the first in the country to get a coveted seal of approval, from a group that's trying to change the focus of health care across the nation. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is now an accredited accountable care organization", part of a pledge to focus on patient care, not profits.

 

The National Committee for Quality Assurance, or NCQA, named Kelsey-Seybold tops in not only providing medical services to its patients, but the leader in clinical services like: mammography screening rates, comprehensive diabetes care and overall consumer satisfaction.

Margaret O'Kane is president of of the NCQA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.

"What 'Accountable Care' means is that this organization is stepping up to the plate, and says we're going to be responsible for the quality of care and the cost of care for the people that we take care of."

Hernandez: "Is that a pretty big statement to make?"

O'Kane: "It's a big deal, because you probably are aware that the way we pay for health care in this country, usually is the more you do the more money you make. So really, there's no incentive to coordinate the care, and to be really patient centered."

She says the sicker you are, the more of an issue it becomes with multiple physicians and clinics treating the same patient.

"So you can imagine, if you're seeing 7 doctors, which is not unusual, your average Medicare beneficiary sees I think six in a year. If they're not coordinating somehow, or if the organization's not making sure that everybody knows what everybody is doing, then there are gonna be problems."

An ACO puts a spotlight on American medicine by replacing unnecessary costs with accountable, high quality care.

Dr Spencer Berthelsen is chairman and managing director of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.
 
"Longtime Kelsey-Seybold patients have been benefiting by this transformation over a period of several decades, but we continue to advance it every year. And we do it in ways that ultimately result in medical care that they know is going to be more respectful of their time, more respectful of their concerns about having care that could expose them to unnecessary risk and also their cost of care, because ultimately that's borne by all of us as patients."

Kelsey-Seybold was one of 6 organizations nationwide seeking ACO accreditation. Dr. Berthelsen says being the first, is a reflection of the care doctors are responsible for.

"As a result, we're able to attract more patients. We are able to interest employers in the model of care that we've established, and we believe it's the model for the future that is going to solve the increasing cost problem in our country."

Kelsey-Seybold's accreditation is valid for three years.    

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...