Spotlight on Excellence – Daily Planet Meets Needs of Thousands in Richmond, Regardless of Ability to Pay for Health Services
Daily Planet Health Services, located in Richmond, VA, provided $1.94 million in uncompensated health services in 2017, illustrating their belief that everyone should have access to quality health service regardless of their financial, housing or insurance status. Daily Planet’s commitment to underserved Richmond-area residents makes them an obvious selection for Health Quality Innovators’ (HQI) June 2019 “Spotlight on Excellence” feature.
Employing 24 clinicians at two locations in Richmond, they offer primary care, oral health, behavioral health and pharmacy services. Their health services are fully supported by case management, patient education, housing referral, supportive employment, financial literacy and arts and sports for health and social change. In 2017, Daily Planet provided care for 37,961 patients, mostly funded by federal agencies and grants; only a small portion of revenue comes from other sources.
- How are you able to efficiently serve a large portion of Richmond’s underserved population?
With most of our funding coming from the federal government, we must maximize our efficiency to improve access to health care services for the disadvantaged in Richmond. We assessed the needs of our local population and tailor services as necessary. This includes rehabilitation programs for homeless adults, medical respite care, substance abuse treatment, HIV/AIDS related services and free family planning.
Our goal is to improve the health and well-being of these individuals and ensure they benefit from important community resources. This approach is rooted in the evidence that social determinants of health have a direct impact on the way people live, learn, work and interact with society. If our organization can positively address some of these key factors, we believe our community members will be set up for a healthier and more productive life.
- Please describe how the Daily Planet operates to provide patient care.
Our integrated care teams provide coordinated care and use a holistic approach. Each health care team includes a medical provider, behavioral health staff, medical assistant, case manager, dentist, pharmacist, nutritionist and health educator. This minimizes care gaps and ensures accountability for treatment, preventive services and screenings.
We leveraged our electronic health records (EHR) system to monitor the progress of quality metrics, which are used to drive change in our processes and/or care that we provide. There has been steady improvement in our tobacco screening and counseling as a direct result of optimizing our EHR and training staff in documentation and counseling workflow. Integrating this data into our team-based model has been a key to success in showing improvement and ensuring sustainability.
- What will be the next steps to continue Daily Planet’s success?
You can’t settle with success because people are depending on you. So, we will expand services, complete facility upgrades, form stronger more collaborative partnerships and pursue additional grant funding to meet the needs of a growing Richmond population. The Daily Planet has been successful in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), and we were nominated for a Health Quality Innovator Award for Collaboration. We also were recently recognized for being an Exemplary Practice in HQI’s Practice Transformation Network (PTN).