At the virtual Accountable Care Symposium held in December 2020, Shilpa Chawla, MS, MBA, received the Caravan Health CPC+ MVP of the Year Population Health Pioneer Award. Shilpa is the Practice Manager at Dr. Ajay Chawla’s practice in Shelby, Ohio.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the practice stayed focus on their goals and benchmarks while maintaining clinical quality measures. Receiving this award has been a validating experience to the staff and has provided external confirmation that their work is meaningful.
“Giving our patients the best possible outcome is the reason we are here.”
Though Shilpa was surprised when she received the award, the team’s continued work is a testament to their concerted effort. According to Shilpa, “At the end of the day, it's all about doing the best you can with what you have at hand and motivating my team to remember we are here for the patient. Giving our patients the best possible outcome is the reason we are here.”
The practice works hard to provide patient-centric care to the chronically ill and medically underserved community in rural Ohio. The staff routinely goes the extra mile to make sure patients have access to every possible resource while being cared for. By actively listening to patient needs and concerns, the practice prioritizes and addresses an individual’s needs. They exemplify what it means to put patients first.
The practice is located in a small community without the local advantages of support that larger practices and hospitals enjoy. Despite this, the staff ensures that care is accessible and affordable.
Shilpa says, “I realized that a lot of the problems patients face are due to various administrative or financial barriers of their care.”
Dr. Chawla’s practice is the only CPC+ program in a 30-mile radius and exemplifies that exceptional work can also be found in small, rural areas with the right team. The staff have worked closely with their Caravan Health team. Shilpa commented, “Caravan brings a different perspective to the table. As a solo independent primary care practice it can be difficult to keep track of the myriad of changes in reimbursements. The staff has relied on Caravan to keep track of population health EMR dashboards that guide them in meeting their benchmarks.”
The practice is independently operated but faces the same issues as larger institutions. Physician burnout is a real problem in the current practice environment where several hours of a physician’s time each day can be spent on nonclinical and nonpatient related paperwork. It is important to work with staff who can help carry this burden and delegate wisely. According to Shilpa, “Some of the frustration faced by providers are not really related to a patient's medical diagnoses but trying to find the resources for the patient's needs. Local networking with other providers and agencies also helps take the pressure away.”