Boosting outcomes — and saving money — through ACO model
By Tracey Drury – Reporter, Buffalo Business First | May 22, 2020
The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization (GBUACO) remains the region’s only state-designated accountable care organization (ACO), overseeing care for about 30,000 patients across the region insured by government programs through Fidelis and YourCare Health Plan.
By Scott Scanlon/REFRESH EDITOR/BN | April 28, 2020
Novel corona virus testing will become more visible this week in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Buffalo.
The testing will roll out, literally, in two vans. “If I get 15% of my people tested, I get a good feeling for what we’re dealing with around the whole area,” said Dr. Raul Vazquez, who secured the testing vehicles from two health insurers, United Healthcare and Fidelis Care.
Local doctor says people are taking advantage and getting tested for COVID-19
Shannon Smith/WIVB | April 27, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Raul Vazquez talks about how people are taking advantage and getting tested. G-Health Enterprises network has offered drive through testing for both types of tests, and have done nearly 400 of them in two weeks. Click below for more information.
Mobile Vans to start Covid-19 testing in poor city neighborhoods
Buffalo News | April 27, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. (BN) — Nurses and other health providers spent Monday afternoon outside Urban Family Practice on Jefferson Avenue conducting blood tests on Medicaid patients to see if they’ve already had the new coronavirus and now have antibodies.
$8M will fund fight against Covid-19 in Buffalo's most 'vulnerable communities'
By Caitlin Dewey| April 22, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. (BN) — A broad slate of Buffalo health care providers, faith leaders and community organizations will receive more than $8 million in state funds to battle Covid-19 among the city’s most vulnerable residents.
The wide-ranging plan – announced Wednesday by executives at Erie County Medical Center and the regional health care consortium Millennium Collaborative Care – aims to both expand testing in low-income, high-risk communities and increase medical services and social support for people who fall ill..
Yes, this virus discriminates, because we still do
Dr. Raul Vazquez says Buffalo Niagara needs a community-based approach to fight the novel coronavirus and reach people who might not have primary care doctors. But experts like him have yet to be brought into the planning discussions.
By Rod Watson/BN | March 31, 2020
"This virus does not discriminate ... (it’s an) equal-opportunity virus that can affect anyone of any age, of any race, from any ZIP code."– Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
While the point he was making – that everyone should follow social distancing and other precautions – is certainly valid, the idea that the novel coronavirus is colorblind is no more true than is the notion that American society is colorblind.
Western New York doctor starts drive-in testing clinic for patients
Dr. Raul Vazquez is using his practice to get more tests for people in vulnerable communities
Karys Belger/WGRZ | April 16, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Raul Vazquez has been advocating for weeks to get more COVID-19 tests for communities in Buffalo where there are high rates of underlying health conditions and lack of access to resources.
His practice recently began administering tests to try and close the gap.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It all started when Dr. Raul Vazquez’s 24-year-old daughter Nadia got sick. She had a fever and shortness of breath. Three days after coming home from the hospital, she received a call that she was positive for COVID-19.
The process caused him to think: How would this experience have been if he wasn’t a doctor? Or if his family had no doctor at all?
N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count
David Goodman and William K. Rashbaum/NYT | April 14, 2020
New York City, N.Y. — New York City, already a world epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 victims on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.
14125 zip code most affected by COVID-19 in Erie County
WGRZ | April 9, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) — BUFFALO, N.Y. — Is a community that's 80% African American, and the population has a history of chronic illnesses. Dr. Raul Vazquez says these factors present a great risk for the community, because most of these individuals don't have access to a primary care physician.
Dr. Raul Vazquez is working on a community action plan to help connect patients to doctors amid the coronavirus pandemic
Karys Belgar/WGRZ | April 8, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) — BUFFALO, N.Y. — As more information is released about COVID-19, local community leaders are continuing to raise concerns over how the pandemic will affect communities of color in Buffalo and Erie County.
The African American Health Equity task force recently called on local leaders to take steps toward making sure communities of color, particularly on Buffalo's East Side, get access to testing. The concern is that the chronic health conditions that already exist in communities of color will cause the COVID-19 pandemic to be even more devastating.
Dr. Raul Vazquez, CEO of Urban Family Practice, conducts a checkup on Mathew Martinez at the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization, which mostly handles Medicaid patients.
John Hickey/Buffalo News | March 12, 2020
More value-based care
Urban Family Practice, which serves more than 9,000 mostly Medicaid patients in Buffalo, will open its third clinic this month. Since the first office on the West Side opened about eight years ago and became part of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization (GBUACO), leaders and staff have labored to move from a fee-for service health care model – where providers are paid based on office visits, tests, drugs and treatments they prescribe – to a “value-based model” that provides reimbursement on how well a practice keeps patients healthy and helps them avoid hospitalizations. Those who do so receive greater “bundled payments” designed to focus more on greater access to preventative care, creating a less costly health care system over time.
The Medicaid Redesign Team I recommended this idea in 2011. It gave way to several practices across the state that operate like Urban Family Practice.
“We’re not asking the state for more money. We’re asking the state to make the regulations such that they give us the ability to innovate the way we want to innovate here,” said Dr. Chet Fox, chief medical officer with Urban Family and GBUACO. “The average bariatric surgery cost $40,000. For two surgeries, you could hire a dietitian, maybe even two, that could work full time for a year.”
Participating Health Care Institutions
Digital Health | January 31, 2020
GBUAHN is a participating health care institution which senior executives have provided mentoring and feedback to the companies accepted into the lab, as well as targeting areas of focus that includes: patient engagement, care coordination, telehealth, population health and behavioral health.
Every Person Influences Children announced that Raul Vazquez M.D.F.A.A.F.P. received the Robert M. Bennett Award for Service to Community. Created to honor individuals who exudes the values of EPIC in both personal and professional life. Dr. Vazquez is founder of Urban Family Practice and Greater Buffalo United Accountable Heathcare Network.
Healthcare firm buys Belmont Shelter headquarters on Main
The Buffalo News | September 20, 2019
A fast-growing West Side-based healthcare organization and insurance provider has acquired the former Main Street headquarters of Belmont Housing Resources of Western New York, paying $2.5 million for a building just north of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
G-Health Enterprises, the parent of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) and related entities, closed Thursday on its purchase of the 24,531-square-foot building at 1195 Main St. That's located two blocks above Buffalo General Medical Center and the Gates Vascular Institute.
The purchase also included an adjacent parcel at 36 Dodge St., around the corner, said David Schiller of Pyramid Brokerage Co., who handled the transaction for Belmont.
Meanwhile, Belmont is planning to move to 2421 Main St., the 72,000-square-foot former headquarters of LPCiminelli, which the nonprofit is buying from the largely-defunct former general contractor for $5.45 million. The sale is expected to close on Sept. 30.
Starting in late January, Belmont will occupy 34,000 square feet in the building, formerly a car dealership and manufacturing facility that later became the headquarters for Greater Buffalo Savings Bank before that was acquired by First Niagara Financial Group. Two other tenants - labor union Local 1199 SEIU and a KeyBank branch - will remain.
Industry leaders see increased cooperation as part of the formula for a better health care experience in Western New York
Buffalo Business First | August 23, 2019
Deepening financial constraints and increased demand for services are prompting the players in the health care industry to take collaborative and creative approaches to continue to successfully meet their missions to provide for patients.
Some of their methods, which are markedly collaborative, are noteworthy for an industry that in the past engaged in muscling out the competition.
And some are creative because the players are looking well beyond their walls for ways to uniquely meet the needs of patients. Ridesharing, anyone? How about a doctor visit via a video call?
Nine of the area’s largest and most significant providers participating in a recent roundtable discussion at Business First laid out how they are confronting the problems before them.
For Mark Sullivan, Catholic Health president and CEO, their collective work is the means that will get the region to the preferred end. Its not just about getting reimbursed, he said, it’s about providing better solutions at other alternative levels of care through different modalities and different technologies.
“We need to be more creative and innovative, so it’s important that we are focusing on not just delivering care,” Sullivan said, “but solving the health crisis in Western New York. Wanting to provide more care may not be the only solution. It’s about providing better health.”
A call to action as poor health outcomes for many blacks persist
The Buffalo News | August 14, 2019
A black person can expect to live five years less in Erie County than someone who is white, and nearly seven years less than the New York State average.
The mortality rate for a black child in the county is more than twice as high as for a child who is white – and that black child is almost five times more likely to live in poverty.
Almost half of black children in Erie County do.
A teenage black girl is five times more likely to get pregnant, a black baby twice as likely to be born with a low birth weight, and an elderly black person almost twice as likely to be admitted for a hospital stay that could have been avoided with better preventative care.
“This is a crisis,” the Rev. George F. Nicholas said. “We want to change the narrative. We need to figure out a way to integrate the African American community into the resurgence of this region.”
Downtown health fair helps western New Yorkers live better
WIVB Channel 4 News | July 29, 2019
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Doctors are helping locals live a healthier life.
G-Health Enterprises took over parts of downtown Buffalo for an annual health fair.
The idea is to break down the barriers that stop people from seeing health care professionals.
Doctors say it’s all about making the region healthier.
“It’s a way to touch different types of data,” G-Health Enterprises CEO Dr. Raul Vazquez said. “So, we look at the data out here in the real world as sometimes inside an office, or in the hospital, and this might give us an insight into what should be different with healthcare.”
Major effort underway to get WNYers tested for Hepatitis C
WBFO 88.7 | July 29, 2019
Several million Americans and thousands of Western New Yorkers are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Many don't know they are infected and don't know there is a cure.
Dr. Raul Vazquez runs Urban Family Practice on Buffalo's West Side and sees a range of patients.
"The thing about Hepatitis C is you don't know you have it and it's picked up based on sort of history that clues you to it or some lab findings," Vazquez said.
Hep C is an unusual health problem because most people don't know they have it, even when there is a quick and simple blood test to detect it. If they don't know they have it, they won't have a talk with their doctor about getting the pill which cures the disease in almost everyone. It also is a significant health problem because the long-term health impact can be lethal and it is expensive to the health care system.
"If these individuals develop cirrhosis, the long-term impact is that within five to 10 years later, 50% of them are going to develop some sort of complication and that could be cancer," Vazquez said.
(Buffalo, NY) The African American Health Disparities Task Forcehas announced“Igniting Hope 2019: “Building A Culture of Health & Ending African American Health Disparities” will take place Fri., Aug. 17 and Sat., Aug. 18, 2019 at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo at 955 Main St., Buffalo. The Conference is free and open to all community members. (Registration is requested.)
“For too long, African American communities in Buffalo and elsewhere have endured the consequences of health disparities. The University at Buffalo and its partners are committed to reversing this trend and helping to ensure that race is no longer a predictive factor in someone’s overall health and life expectancy,” said Michael Cain, MD, Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School.
“GBUACO (Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization) is taking the lead on addressing the social determinants of health (housing, food and transportation) throughout Buffalo within these African American communities,” saidRaul Vazquez, MD, CEO and President, G-Health Enterprises. “By targeting these three major concerns our care coordination model can provide a 20% savings in the overwhelming Medicaid budget of $60 billion for six million people across New York State.”
YourCare Health Plan has renewed its contract with the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization, a value-based payment plan based in Buffalo.
The deal comes three years after the two organizations first partnered, following GBUACO’s creation as one of the first ACOs in New York’s program that rewards physicians and providers for cutting costs and improving care and outcomes for Medicaid recipients.
The organization, an affiliate of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), also includes participation by providers at Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, Jericho Road Community Health Center and the Greater Buffalo Independent Physicians Association.
GBUAHN, based in Buffalo, also operates a state-designated health home program that coordinates care for thousands of local individuals with Medicaid who have two or more chronic health conditions, a serious mental or behavioral health condition and/or HIV/AIDS.
That’s the same market served by YourCare, owned by Rochester-based Monroe Health Plan, which serves about 47,000 residents in metropolitan Buffalo and Rochester. The new contract will continue care for 9,000 members covered through the ACO, and allow room for more.
GBUAHN is one of two New York State 5 star rated Medical Health Home companies and they are striving to transform health care in under served communities.
GBUAHN is one of two New York State 5 star rated Medical Health Home companies and they are striving to transform health care in under served communities. To find out more about all the services they provide head over to their website at www.gbuahn.org. You can also give them a call at 247-5282 to speak to their compassionate and caring staff about any health care questions you might have.
Last year, a vehicle struck Danny, an uninsured 21-year old, in a hit and run auto-pedestrian accident. As a direct result of the accident, Danny was in the hospital for eight months due to his severe injuries. After his hospitalization, Danny was in need of physical therapy otherwise he would forever remain wheelchair-bound. Unfortunately, his lack of health insurance made it difficult. His mother, Debby, reached out to several providers hoping someone would take her son without coverage; however, none of them would take Danny.
Debby one day learned of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) Health Home from a ...