MaineHealth Medical Group Improves Access and Patient Experience

Cornelius Ferreira, MD

Cornelius Ferreira, MD

How do you unite more than 2,000 physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) who care for patients at hundreds of practices across Maine and New Hampshire?

For MaineHealth, the answer is the MaineHealth Medical Group. Since its formation in 2020, the Medical Group has been hard at work creating a single organizational home for physicians and APPs that supports them in delivering high quality, patient-centered care. In 2023, the Medical Group made significant strides in:

  • Increasing patient access
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Meeting increasingly stringent care quality standards

As the pandemic subsided in 2022, MaineHealth practices experienced a rapid increase in demand for services. Patients who had deferred care returned in large numbers, often with more advanced disease and more acute conditions than before the pandemic. The increased volume of visits and need for more intense care led to patient access challenges.

Increasing Patient Access

During 2023, the Medical Group confronted these challenges and took steps to improve access. Most notably, it streamlined recruitment and credentialing of physicians and APPs, introduced fast-tracked appointments at specialty practices and established workgroups to devise innovative solutions to specific access roadblocks.

Improving Clinical Quality and the Patient Experience

Remarkably, the Medical Group improved clinical quality and safety scores during this period, thanks in part to energetic quality and safety leadership and a new dedicated ambulatory quality and safety structure. Of particular note is achieving the goal for hypertension control – a promising sign that patients with chronic disease are stabilizing post-pandemic. The Medical Group’s focus on access, quality and safety likely contributed to patient satisfaction scores that increased steadily throughout the year.

A New Payment Model Benefits Both Patients and Care Teams

Value-based care is an emerging payment model that rewards the delivery of high quality, patient-centered care at a reasonable cost. At MaineHealth, value-based care has helped improve outcomes for patients while building strong clinical teams. Watch the video to see value-based care in action at Westbrook Family Medicine.

A Growing Team

The good news of 2023 is due in great part to the Medical Group’s extraordinary people. Among them is a talented and dynamic new chief medical officer, Cornelius Ferreira, MD, who joined the Group in March.

Other new team members include pharmacists supporting primary care practices, additional triage nurses supporting primary care access and a team of clinicians who have created the first ambulatory palliative care practice in southern Maine.

They join an outstanding team that demonstrates its deep commitment to high quality, patient centered care every single day.

About the MaineHealth Medical Group

MaineHealth Medical Group is the largest medical group in Northern New England. It unifies all 1,100 MaineHealth providers at the system’s 10 hospitals and more than 200 specialty and primary care practices in Maine and New Hampshire. Learn more >