Phoenix-Based FQHC Boosts Colorectal Cancer Screenings and Wellness Visits Using
Automated Patient Outreach

The Client

Name: Adelante Healthcare
Specialties: Primary Care, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Dental Services

The Goal

Increase access to care and improve clinical outcomes in order to achieve value-based targets and enhance population health.

The Result

7.5% increase in colorectal cancer screenings and 10% month over month well child appointment increase for children ages 3-6 within a segment of health plans

The Challenge

Adelante Healthcare is a Federally Qualified Health Center offering primary care and multi-specialty care in Maricopa County, the largest county in Phoenix, Arizona. Adelante Healthcare originated 40 years ago as a small group of healthcare professionals caring for farm workers. Today, Adelante Healthcare cares for patients of all economic backgrounds across nine clinics that offer a variety of specialties, including internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health, and dental services.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center, many of Adelante Healthcare’s patients’ experience social determinants that negatively impact their ability to access quality health care. From transient housing and transportation challenges to limited income and no health insurance, external factors make it difficult to close gaps in care.

As a result of social determinants of health, a large population of Adelante Healthcare’s patients are at a higher risk of being unable to get to scheduled appointments or refill medications which means that it’s harder to ensure they’re receiving the care they need, when they need it. 

While many patients may be unable to directly control their situations preventing them from access to care, Adelante Healthcare noticed there is one thing that’s consistent among their patient population—they almost always have access to a cell phone. This realization opened the door to exploring a technology platform that would allow them to quickly and seamlessly connect with their patients in a way that works best for them.

Adelante Healthcare noticed there is one thing that’s consistent among their patient population—they almost always have access to a cell phone. This realization opened the door to exploring a technology platform that would allow them to quickly and seamlessly connect with their patients in a way that works best for them.

Solutions Implemented

The Solution

Adelante Healthcare engaged Providertech to streamline and scale population health outreach across a variety of patient segments. The goal was to increase patient appointments and improve clinical outcomes in order to achieve value-based targets and keep more patients healthy.

Adelante Healthcare leveraged Providertech’s technology platform to send automatic voice and text messages to patients for multiple population health campaigns, including:

  • Well child visits from newborns through adolescents
  • Diabetic care
  • Cancer screenings including Colorectal, Breast, and Cervical screenings

Through Providertech’s integration with their NextGen EHR, they were able to easily identify each of these patient segments based on data from their health records, such as age, gender, and conditions. The automated text message content, frequency, and timing could be completely customized to Adelante Healthcare’s unique needs. This allowed them to scale their outreach to a wider audience while remaining personal and specific on the message based on their patient population.

As with the roll-out of any new solution, it took some trial and error to ensure message and data consistency. However, once the team overcame the obstacles, Adelante Healthcare found that their population health campaigns were easier to manage and scale, meaning they could reach more patients with less manpower. In conjunction with the automated outreach, Adelante Healthcare also amplified their population health intervention efforts through increased provider awareness and onsite care team follow up.

Adelante Healthcare found that their population health campaigns were easier to manage and scale, meaning they could reach more patients with less manpower.

7.5% increase in 2019
colorectal cancer screening

Significantly reduced call volume
with automated appointment reminders

10% month over month increase in well child appointments for participating health plan segment

The Result

Due to success, Adelante Healthcare continues to deliver population health campaigns using Providertech’s technology to scale communication efforts. They are already experiencing an increase in appointment volume for well child visits and cancer screenings.

In fact, through their diligent population health outreach, Adelante Healthcare saw a 7.5% increase in colorectal cancer screenings in 2019. Medical Director of Quality Dr. Suganya Karuppana noted, “We’ve experienced a notable increase colorectal cancer screenings and diabetes management as a result of targeted patient outreach via text in combination with our supplemental population health interventions.”

Well child visits also saw an increase in appointments with a 10% month over month improvement for children ages 3 through 6 participating within a segmented group of health plans. Additionally, Adelante Healthcare was able to achieve Arizona state’s Medicaid program performance standard for ages 0 through 15 months.

Since automated population campaigns have replaced previously time-consuming manual efforts, Adelante Healthcare also anecdotally recognizes significant savings in time and staff resources. “Our population health outreach team spends far less time calling patients who are due for appointments since we’ve automated appointment reminders for wellness visits and cancer screenings. And, we’ve been able to connect with significantly more patients since we can easily scale our communication efforts,” said Dr. Karuppana.

“Our population health outreach team spends far less time calling patients who are due for appointments since we’ve automated appointment reminders for wellness visits and cancer screenings. And, we’ve been able to connect with significantly more patients since we can easily scale our communication efforts.” – Dr. Karuppana, Medical Director of Quality, Adelante Healthcare

75%

decrease in time spent confirming appointments

With Providertech’s help, we achieved a 75% decrease in time spent manually confirming appointments, helping us to more efficiently engage our patients using the resources we already had.

Amy Bastianelli |

Director of Population Health, La Communidad Hiispana

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Adelante Healthcare found that their population health campaigns were easier to manage and scale, meaning they could reach more patients with less manpower.

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