Jim Byrne, M.D. of Priority Health to Lead Patient-Centered Medical Home Collaborative

Jim Byrne, M.D. of Priority Health Plan inGrand Rapids,Mich.will take over executive leadership of The Alliance of Community Health Plans’ Patient-Centered Medical Home Collaborative.

This Collaborative of ACHP health plans formed in January 2008 to better define the role of health insurers in the patient-centered medical home model of care. Today, the Collaborative is focused on implementing medical homes whose goals have been shaped by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim: improved clinical outcomes, greater satisfaction with care and lower cost trend.

Jim will partner withLynne Cuppernull, ACHP’s Director of Clinical Learning & Innovation, Tom Nolan, Consultant with Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and other members of the Collaborative Leadership Team to set direction, monitor progress, and provide regular updates to the ACHP Board of Directors. 

“I’m honored to be selected for this appointment,” Byrne said. “The Alliance of Community Health Plans, of which Priority Health is a member, strongly endorses the need to collaborate with and support primary care physicians in their efforts to develop medical homes for their patients. We believe that primary care is the backbone of our delivery systems; a strong, effective primary care base is critical to achieving our goals of improving health, improving patient experience, and controlling costs.”

Jim Byrne has been the Chief Medical Officer at Priority Health for more than 10 years. He has extensive experience cultivating physician relationships and educating employers and consumers. Throughout his career, Jim has had an overarching interest in primary care issues, such as quality, efficiency, and payment.

“I am delighted that Jim Byrne will take over executive leadership of our Patient-Centered Medical Home Collaborative,” saidPatricia Smith, President and CEO of ACHP. “Jim will be a superb leader for this national collaborative of high performing health plans. His demonstrated abilities in leading clinical care delivery and strong emphasis on primary care are precisely the leadership qualities needed to drive this collaborative forward.”

Priority Health’s comprehensive medical home model pilot focuses on payment and practice reform, evaluation and assessment. Their experience and Dr. Byrne’s leadership will also be key determinants of the Collaborative’s future course.

In the last year, Priority Health has provided grants and education for primary care practices pursuing the patient-centered medical home model. Beginning April 1, payment reforms were put in place to cover services such as e-visits, telephonic visits, group visits and after-hours appointments – all of which are recommended in the national medical home model.

Rick Gilfillan, M.D. has led the Collaborative since its inception and is stepping down from his CEO position withGeisinger Health Plan. Under his leadership, the Collaborative developed four additional Medical Home outcome-oriented standards that are aligned with the Triple Aim. The Collaborative also created a comprehensive measurement set and launched a metrics collection effort.

“Dr. Gilfillan kept us outcomes-oriented by pushing us to ensure our work was focused on reduced cost trend, population health, and increased patient satisfaction with care.  Rick will continue to serve in an advisory role to the Collaborative,” Smith said.


About ACHP

ACHPis a membership organization of 19 non-profit, community-based and regional health plans from across the country providing coverage and care for approximately 18 million Americans. These health plans focus on improving the health of the communities they serve through integrated and coordinated care delivery.  They are on the leading edge of patient care coordination, patient-centered medical homes, accountable health care delivery, use of information technology, and other innovations leading to improvements in administrative efficiency and the quality of care. They maintain strong community ties and close plan/physician partnerships. Almost all ACHPmember plans participate in Medicare, most are in Medicaid, and most also offer coverage in the commercial market. To learn more about ACHP, go to www.achp.org.


About Priority Health 

Priority Health is a nationally recognized health benefits company based in Michigan. It serves nearly a half million members with a broad portfolio of products including commercial and government health plans. A nonprofit dedicated to providing all people access to affordable health care, Priority Health continues to be recognized as one of America’s Best Health Plans by U.S. News & World Report and NCQA. Priority Health employs 900 people throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula with offices in Grand Rapids, Farmington Hills, Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo and Traverse City. For more information about Priority Health, visit www.priorityhealth.com.