Dr. David Polakoff discusses team-based care and SNE-PTN in the Worcester Business Journal

June 21, 2016 - 08:00am EDT

A UMass Medical School practice transformation expert says a team-based approach to primary care was key to some early managed care models and has been integrated in primary care, pediatrics and geriatrics for some time, according to an article on the transition to team-based care in Worcester Business Journal.

"There's a phrase in medicine, which is, 'Keep every member of the team working at the top of their license,' so you don't have physicians doing what nurses should do, you don't have nurses doing what educators should do, and you don't have educators doing what a care coordinator should do," David Polakoff, MD, chief medical officer and associate dean of UMass Medical School's Commonwealth Medicine division, told Worcester Business Journal.

Dr. Polakoff also is co-lead of the Southern New England Practice Transformation Network, an initiative led by UMass Medical School and UConn Health to help clinical practices with transformation efforts through technical assistance and coaching. The initiative is funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The article points to the commonly used fee-for-service reimbursement system for physicians as an obstacle to transition to a team-based model.

"More visits doesn't necessarily mean patients are healthier," Polakoff told Worcester Business Journal. "We are trying to transition into a model where practices are paid to keep people healthy.