Pediatric Associates is one of the largest private pediatric practices in central Ohio, and one of the longest-standing contracted members of Partners For Kids. So Kate J. Krueck, MD, probably first heard about Partners For Kids when she joined the practice in 2002. She doesn’t remember much past an initial impression:
“I thought it was just the group that helped us get paid through Medicaid,” says Dr. Kreuck. “They helped distribute money. That’s what I knew. And now I understand that helping me get paid is not even the best thing Partners For Kids does. I would say the most important thing is that it gives me the tools to be the best physician I can be.”
That’s always been a goal for Dr. Kreuck since she came out of residency and was “terrified of doing everything wrong.” She realized early in her career that she would need to become proficient in treating patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and so she taught herself, then worked to train her colleagues.
That experience led to her interest in process and quality improvement (QI), which led her to QI projects through the American Academy of Pediatrics, which ultimately led back to Partners For Kids, because of its focus on QI.
Over the next several years – particularly when Dr. Kreuck became chief medical officer of Pediatric Associates and assumed more administrative duties – she came to realize Partners For Kids’ potential. Yes, Partners For Kids still helps with Medicaid payments. But it’s more than that:
“We have shared values,” Dr. Kreuck says.
Dr. Kreuck wants children to have a yearly visit; Partners For Kids actually provides a staff member to help Pediatric Associates schedule those appointments. She wants to prescribe the medications that will be most effective and covered by insurance; Partners For Kids produces a preferred drug list and will set up educational sessions with their pharmacists. She wants patients with asthma to have better control of their conditions; Partners For Kids analyzed Pediatric Associates’ managed Medicaid claims data to see how often their patients with asthma were going to an emergency department.
“I actually participated in a Partners For Kids’ webinar on office management, and that’s not even my gig,” she says. “The point is, I practice medicine more effectively because of the resources Partners For Kids gives me.”
This feature originally appeared in the Partners For Kids Progress Report.