April 14, 2024

A look inside Sound’s ACO care experience

By: Thomas Kim, MD, MMM, FHM, Chief Medical Officer, Sound Long-Term Care Management 

Dr. Thomas Kim, Chief Medical Officer, Sound Long-Term Care Management

Sound Physicians is known as a physician practice of hospitalists, emergency medicine clinicians, critical care clinicians, anesthesia clinicians, and telemedicine physicians. What is often overlooked is that Sound is a value-based care organization and has been for quite some time.  

We were one of the largest physician groups to participate in Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCIA), and we still partner with many large payers in a value-based care relationship. We took lessons learned from our value-based care experience and developed a care experience by creating an ACO for a population that we identified to be in need — long-term care facility residents. They’re a population often overlooked by current value-based programs and, at the same time, have the greatest needs. In addition to the residents being left out, the nursing facilities themselves have been left out of many value-based care programs as well.  

As a physician, I have had many conversations with patients and their families about transitioning into long-term care. These discussions are difficult for several reasons, such as the patient’s sense of giving up their independence and the family’s new reliance on someone else to care for their loved one. If you haven’t had to transition a family member into long-term care, perhaps you’ve had a similar experience with daycare for a child.  

When we devised our care experience for the ACO, we knew it had to be simple. In healthcare, we use the phrase “delivery of care,” and our goal is to help our clinicians and facilities to literally bring care to patients where they are and minimize the disruptions to the residents’ and their families’ quality of life. We do this by bringing in resources such as telemedicine and chronic care management.  

We also knew we couldn’t put additional burdens on clinicians and nursing staff in our facilities as they are already at capacity. One of the ways we do that is by bringing data to the folks who need it most. Clinicians and nurses need actionable information at their fingertips rather than having to dig through multiple sources to find pertinent information. We also use data to risk stratify residents and prioritize those with the greatest health threats to mitigate their likelihood of needing escalations in care.  

We want to level the playing field for provider groups and nursing facilities alike. Whether you’re a small or large provider group or facility, all participants can leverage the ACO’s resources, which include data, technology, telemedicine, and care coordination. 2024 will be a year of innovation, and we at Sound Long-Term Care Management want to be at the forefront of positive change.  

Read more about Dr. Kim and his breakdown of Sound’s ACO care model in his complete interview with Skilled Nursing News: https://skillednursingnews.com/2024/03/voices-thomas-kim-md-mmm-fhm-chief-medical-officer-sound-long-term-care-management/ 

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