UK HealthCare offers help to primary-care clinics; university’s top health official calls it ‘a game changer’ for rural health providers

The Kentucky Primary Care Association and the University of Kentucky have announced a new partnership to provide support services to primary care providers throughout Kentucky.

This “groundbreaking partnership” will provide KPCA, which includes more than 800 patient care providers, access to UK HealthCare‘s support services, such as supply chain contracts, medical professional placement services, practice transformation support and training, and an after-hours pediatric call triage center, according to press release.

The most notable feature of the partnership is that KPCA members will have access to UK’s group purchasing contracts, giving them access to services at heavily discounted rates at no charge to the facilities. This is expected to create “significant” savings for more than 250 clinics throughout the state. UK’s top health official called it “a game changer.”

“Primary care physicians, especially those in rural areas, have the extra burden of high patient volume, limited staff, and stretched resources,” Dr. Michael Karpf, UK’s executive vice president for health, said in the release. “By partnering, UK HealthCare and KPCA members can grow important programs and services for their patients while also controlling and reducing operating costs.”

KPCA Executive Director Joe Smith said, “By addressing some of these issues related to costs, clinics with already scarce resources can instead focus on improving the quality of care.We’ve had a longstanding association with the university and UK HealthCare, and this partnership elevates that relationship by adding a strong commitment to assisting rural doctors, nurses and practice managers, who face some of the toughest transitions taking place in medicine today.”

The partnership will also allow KPCA members access to staffing services that link candidates to vacancies across the state; to Patient Centered Medical Home consultants, who help practices transition to quality and value-based models of care; and to UK HealthCare’s after-hours pediatric call triage service.

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