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Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences

Program Overview

In September 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation named the AAMC as one of 39 recipients in the second round of their Health Care Innovation Awards. This grant has enabled the launch of the AAMC’s Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences (CORE) Project, which aims to improve quality and efficiency in the ambulatory setting by focusing on the referral process between primary care providers and specialists. The initiative uses EMR-based tools - eConsults and Enhanced Referrals, and a shift in physician workflow and incentives, to reduce marginal referrals, improve access to specialists, and enhance the patient experience.

To learn more, please read the CORE Overview .

Project Participants and Partners

The AAMC is collaborating with the University of California-San Francisco, a pioneer in this delivery model, to disseminate the model to five academic medical centers (AMCs):

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock
  • University of California, San Diego Medical Center
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
  • University of Virginia Medical Center
  • University of Wisconsin (UW) Health

More than 500,000 primary care patients served by these five AMCs will benefit from timely clinical input on their care from specialists when needed, as well as greater convenience and savings through care delivered through their primary care medical home.

Dobson|DaVanzo and Vizient are serving as data and evaluation partners. Vizient is utilizing its expertise in assessing costs and utilization through all-payer claims data to lead the project evaluation. Dobson|DaVanzo will draw upon these outcomes to propose a sustainable and scalable payment model to CMS at the conclusion of this three year project.

Program Goals

The current referral landscape shows an increase in volume and a decrease in communication, leading to poor access to specialists and poor coordination between primary care providers and specialists. The CORE models aims to improve care delivery at the intersection of primary and specialty care by:

  • Reducing total cost of care for primary care patients;
  • Improving quality of care through enhanced timeliness of specialty input; and
  • Improving patient satisfaction by reducing specialty wait times and decreasing referrals.

Recommended Resouces

Up to 35% of all primary care patients in U.S. are referred to specialists annually

Contact Us

Scott Shipman, MD, MPH
Director of Primary Care Affairs and Workforce
Telephone: 202-828-0979

Meaghan Quinn, MHSA
CORE Program Manager, Health Care Affairs
Telephone: 202-828-0513

Sarah Hampton
CORE Program Specialist
Telephone: 202-909-2023