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St. Luke's Liaison Earns National Primary Care Award
July 03, 2019

Jessica C. Rivera of the St. Luke’s Care Network recently received a 2019 National CPC+ Connect Member Impact Award. Rivera was recognized during the CPC+ Connect National Meeting and Awards Ceremony in May.

Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) is an initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that is designed to strengthen value-based primary care throughout the United States.

“It is an honor to be nominated and acknowledged by my peers throughout the approximately 2,900 participating CPC+ sites across the nation,” says Rivera. “This award means my feedback and participation has not only been welcome, but it has been appreciated and sought after.”

As a Value-Based Practice Liaison, which is a part of the Value-Based Initiatives (VBI) Department of the St. Luke’s Care Network (SLCN), Rivera has been a part of CPC+ since St. Luke’s joined the program in 2017. She has served as the CPC+ Project Lead for the last 18 months.

“Jessica has been our primary contact for CPC+ and has led a number of efforts around Patient-Family Advisory Councils,” says Linda Gately, Vice President, Quality, Performance Improvement and Compliance, SLCN.

“This included a presentation at the Pennsylvania state meeting, as well as working with our practices and CMS for submission of quality and financial data.”

Patient-Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) are held to provide patients and their family members a forum to share their suggestions, ideas and thoughts on how the practice can provide an even more positive patient experience.

Rivera researched best practices to develop and reformat the PFAC structure to best fit St. Luke’s sites. The St. Luke’s standardized model allows its practices to maintain and grow throughout the program and beyond.

“Due to the success at these eight offices, we are looking to expand the PFAC model to non-participating CPC+ sites throughout the Network as well,” Rivera says.

Gately notes that, since Rivera joined the VBI Department in 2015, she has also been instrumental in working with St. Luke’s practices for Patient-Centered Medical Home and Patient-Centered Specialty Practice recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

In her new position as a Practice Liaison, Rivera is now working with the independent St. Luke’s Care Network practices, while continuing to work with St. Luke’s Physician Group, for quality and education.

“It is fulfilling knowing that participating in this program encourages and increases the quality of care our patients receive,” she explains. “We have heard many times at these meetings that being a part of the PFACs shows the patients that our network cares about them, their thoughts and input. It has also afforded me the opportunity to openly share our experiences here at St. Luke’s, not only with our regional CPC+ neighbors, but with those across the nation.

“From network leadership, to practices, to the VBI Department, it has been a team effort. That is why our practices continue to succeed in this program.”


About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.