A Third Of Ga. Pediatricians Join Together To Form Network To Improve Care

More than 1,100 Georgia pediatricians have joined a new physician-led network that aims to improve quality of care and eventually contract for payments from insurers.

The sign-ups represent roughly one-third of the pediatricians practicing in the state.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the major pediatric hospital system in the metro area, helped create the nonprofit entity, called the Children’s Care Network.

Dr. Robert Wiskind, an Atlanta pediatrician who is the network’s board chairman, said in an interview that members will share and encourage the use of national “best practices’’ of medical care, such as identifying which children with concussions need to get a CT scan.

The doctors, who practice in the Atlanta region, will also share data on how the services and care they each give to kids compares to their peers.

The creation of the Children’s Care Network comes at a time of dramatic change in the way medical providers are paid for their services. Medicare and private insurers are now emphasizing reimbursement based on quality of care, rather than just paying according to how many procedures are done. That’s known as a “value-based’’ model.

At first, the Georgia network will seek a payment bonus from insurers if members meet quality-of-care standards, Wiskind said. The next step may be providing medical services for a fixed fee.

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