PROVIDENCE – On July 8, Coastal Medical Inc., Rhode Island’s largest primary-care group practice, initiated seven-day-a-week, 365-days-a-year coverage for its 105,000 patients.
The innovative approach seeks to cut down on unnecessary visits to the emergency room at hospitals, according to G. Alan Kurose, president and CEO of Coastal.
The initiative to have Coastal patients have access to community, office-based primary care seven days a week, 365 days a year follows Coastal’s new shared-savings contract with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, that enables the group practice to share in savings in medical expenses with the insurer.
“The new access is critical for quality of care and patient engagement,” Kurose said.
Coastal has also developed electronic patient portals to enable patients to access test results, once they’ve consented to participate, Kurose added. •