A Unique Healthcare Model
More than 25 years ago, Dr. Emil DiIorio started to change how healthcare is delivered, introducing to the Lehigh Valley consistently effective and high-quality services at a lower cost, now known as value-based healthcare.
Dr. DiIorio founded Coordinated Health in 1987 as Sports Medicine Lehigh Valley and the Industrial Medicine Clinic, located at 2775 Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem. The Sports Medicine clinic served Lehigh University’s sports teams and the Industrial Medicine Clinic served Bethlehem Steel, Crayola, UPS, and other area businesses.
Dr. DiIorio’s integrated-services model combined orthopedic services with advanced imaging and physical therapy, all under one roof to provide patients with a simplified approach to their care. The orthopedic practice grew to include a full suite of musculoskeletal support: sports medicine, joint replacement, spine (orthopedics, chiropractic and physiatry), hand and wrist, foot and ankle, rheumatology, athletic training, physical and occupational therapy, and advanced imaging.
All aspects of the Coordinated Health service model are integrated for better efficiency and effectiveness, with cross-functional teams and proprietary processes and IT systems. As noted in a 2013 Harvard Business Review piece titled The Strategy That Will Fix Healthcare, it’s a winning approach, focused on maximizing value for patients at its core; achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost.
Several leading healthcare organizations have recognized the benefit of the value-based model and are at varying levels of piloting changes to their organizational structure, systems and processes. Cleveland Clinic and Germany’s Schön Klinik have undertaken large-scale efforts involving multiple components of the value agenda, all in an effort to implement “coordinated care.”
Disrupting The Status Quo
Dr. DiIorio’s dream to deliver value-based healthcare came from the unmet need he saw all around him.
“If there’s one industry in America that needs disruption, it’s healthcare,” he says. “We must do it differently to deliver better value, and that’s what we’re doing at Coordinated Health. We deliver more value by narrowing our service lines and by reaching out to our patients in terms of accessibility. We can’t expect busy people to go to us; we have to go to them, hence our 16 locations.
“I’d like to disrupt the perception that quality healthcare needs to take place in large ‘towers’ or tertiary care centers. There is a role for them, especially as we have an older and sicker population who needs that type of intensive care, but there’s also a large population of people who just need basic things fixed. In our specialized integrated model, we can do that faster and with less cost to patients and employers.”
Coordinated Health has continued to grow steadily over the years and offers much more than the orthopedic services it did at the beginning. The services include musculoskeletal, women’s health, primary care, and cardiology and endocrinology, but are still purposefully focused on a limited number of specialties.
The Value In Selective Specialization
“We are not trying to be everything to everyone,” DiIorio says, “which is very important because if you try to do that, the effort to be value-based becomes very difficult. The word value-based has been one that has been present in our vocabulary for a long time at CH. What it means to us is getting rid of all the other stuff, because it’s all about the customer: the patients and employers. At the end of the day, the customer’s satisfaction is the most critical.”
The Coordinated Health integrated provider-based model now supports over 11,000 patient visits per week, in two specialized surgery hospitals, an ambulatory surgical center and a growing number of clinics across eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. The company’s 1,200 employees also support more than 2,500 local businesses through Employer Services.
The Coordinated Health strategy is continuing to evolve to maintain a unique competitive advantage that links value chain activities to quality care and competitive pricing. It also drills down to the income statement and balance sheet by decreasing complexity, overhead, and cost.
Coordinated Health maintains an unmatched commitment to excellence in quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As a result, the company has earned a reputation for the best doctors, clinical teams, and support staffs in the healthcare industry. The only hospital in the Lehigh Valley to earn the Top Performer rating from The Joint Commission three years in a row, Coordinated Health has repeatedly earned top patient satisfaction scores from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.