What’s a PTN and Why Should I Get Involved?
You may have heard (read: you’ve definitely heard unless you live under a rock) about value-based care lately. “Value” is a hard term to nail down, but it’s not just a buzzword.
Formally defined, value means health outcomes achieved per dollar spent. Practically, it is change that physicians need to make in their day-to-day work. The reality is, value is the basis of how physicians are going to be paid in the future. And if practices want to be ready for this reality, changes need to be made now.
Luckily, CMS understands. The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi) is there to aid clinicians in achieving large-scale changes in their practices through sharing information and strategies.
An important backbone to TCPi are the 29 Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs). In these regional peer-learning networks, primary care and medical specialty practices receive technical assistance coordinated by quality advisors or coaches to develop value-based practices, create quality metrics to assess change, and collaborate to improve health outcomes and care delivery. Think of a PTN like a multidisciplinary sports team — only instead of assisting each other in getting a ball in a net or over a goal line, you’re working together to add and demonstrate value in your practice and health care community.
The PTN advisors work with practices to assess their status and develop specific aims toward transformation to value-based care. This entails, for example, how a practice evaluates its work processes and identifies new opportunities for efficiency, proactively works to reduce unnecessary tests, or uses business practices and tools to analyze and document value.
Through PTNs, clinicians also have the opportunity to participate in collaborative educational programs and events featuring tools, methodologies, and resources — many developed and presented by physicians — that support improved care delivery. Through active PTN involvement, you can help to define and demonstrate the many ways radiology adds value for patient care.
Also, to kick off collaboration with your referring clinicians, consider joining the ACR’s Radiology Communication and Support Network (R-SCAN) one of the 10 TCPi Support and Alignment Networks (SANs). Participating in a PTN, R-SCAN, or both is an opportunity to earn Clinical Practice Improvement Activity credit under the CMS Merit Based Incentive Program.
If you are ready to join a PTN, check out this interactive map for in-depth descriptions and contact information. And log on to the R-SCAN website to get started on a project with your referring colleagues.