Since our founding in 2006, Project Access Northwest has collaborated with the health care community to open doors to medical and dental care for low-income individuals with limited access. It is this commitment to collaboration with hospitals, hospital systems and organizations like Cambia Grove that makes possible our ability to be a unique and sustainable critical safety net for the community and strive to ensure that unmet health needs aren’t leaving people vulnerable to long-term issues, hunger or homelessness.

Project Access Northwest Executive Director Gary Renville moderated a provider panel at Cambia Grove's 5 Points of Health Care™ Conference in early February.

The “5 Points of Health Care” is Cambia Grove's framework to better understand the health care system by breaking the system into five distinct sectors: Patient, Payers, Providers, Policymakers and Purchasers.

The annual conference highlights the complexities and hurdles surrounding innovators seeking to make changes in the health care system.

Provider panel

The provider panel members included:

  • Rachelle Daugherty – Chief Administrative Officer, Providence St. Joseph Health
  • Eric Meyer, MHA – Innovation Strategist, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Michelle Troseth, MSN, RN, FNAP, FAAN – Co-founder, MissingLogic LLC
  • Moderator: Gary Renville – Executive Director, Project Access Northwest

According to Cambia Grove's Community Engagement Director Nick Jackal, Gary was an exceptional moderator who made an impression on the panelists.

“They all went out of their way to say how touched they were that [Gary] took the time to learn more about their background,” Nick said. "[He] wove that into an expansive topic area and really advanced a key conversation of the conference."

“It was an honor to be a moderator for Cambia Grove’s conference,” Gary reflected. “While at first glance, filling 45 minutes for a panel conversation seemed daunting, in hindsight, our panel could have provided the basis for our own two-day session.”

The key questions

The panel addressed a number of questions, including:

  • Given that providers can’t know every solution that exists in the world, how do you partner with your patients to address their health?
  • What are all of the different roles providers play in the health care system? How has it changed over time?
  • What are the pressing trends or needs that you (providers) are focusing on (future workforce, re-imagining the patient/provider experience, provider burnout)
  • What is an impactful innovation you have adopted? (new product/process/partnership/policy)

A safety net for patients AND providers

“In addition to being a safety net for patients, Project Access Northwest is a safety net for providers who struggle to overcome a number of barriers in connecting to and building relationships with those in need,” says Gary. “As we discussed during the panel, physician shortages, patient no-show rates and physician burnout are among the greatest challenges being faced by our health care community.”

According to data published by the Association of Medical Colleges, the United States will see a physician shortage of up to 122,000 by 2032, inclusive of both primary and specialty care.

According to another report published in the Annals of Family Medicine, an average no-show rate of 62 appointments per day across 10 different regional hospitals cost an average of $3 million per hospital. Almost 4 million people across the country miss or put off medical appointments each year.

According to Medscape’s “2019 National Physicians Burnout & Depression Report,” more than 40 percent of physicians are burned out though doctors in some specialties are suffering more than others.

“To help providers overcome their barriers to providing care, Project Access Northwest handles an incredible amount of administrative details so our providers’ valuable time is focused on delivering life-changing care,” explains Gary. “Patients are pre-screened and matched to appropriate care and our patients show up for appointments on time, with all needed labs, tests and imaging.”

As just one measure of our effectiveness, Project Access Northwest has an impressive no-show rate of less than 6% compared to as high as 40% no-show rates for this population.

The conversation continues

Project Access Northwest will continue to work with partners like Cambia Grove and with all hospitals and hospital systems in our area to positively impact the quadruple aim to optimize health system performance including:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care
  • Ensuring provider staff satisfaction and engagement

If you are an entrepreneur, a provider, and/or part of a hospital or hospital system and would like to explore how we might better align our work, please email Executive Director Gary Renville at garyr@projectaccessnw.org.