Delegation of healthcare executives from China

Delegation of healthcare executives from China

June 16, 2016, SETMA received a note from our friends in China. They have previously made two visits to SETMA and as this note indicates they want to visit a third time. The note stated:

“Dr. Holly, since our last meeting, a half year has passed. During that period we have made more study on the ‘SETMA PCMH Bible’ that you shared with us and have introduced it to China’s family physician founder, Dr. Gu Yuan. She is the president of the Expert Committee of Family Medicine of China. Dr. Gu Yuan has led China’s family physician association over the past 20-plus years. She has very broad and strong influence in China primary care. After the introduction, she has been highly impacted by SETMA’s model and would like to visit SETMA and have a deep discussion with you.

“Right now I’m planning a U.S. trip in July for my core team and Dr. Gu Yuan (total of 11 people). If it’s convenient for you, we expect to visit SETMA during July 18-20, take SETMA as the role model of U.S. primary care and compare it with China’s primary care. We expect a deep discussion with you and your friends and wish to explore a long-term cooperation opportunity with you. Sept. 6-10, we are planning China-U.S. primary care transformation forum in China (Chengdu city); we hope to invite you to visit us and speak to China’s primary care leaders.”

The “SETMA PCMH Bible” referred to above is a notebook presented to each of the visitors in June 2014. 

July 3, we received details of the agenda our visitors would like to follow. This is a list of the China attendees:

1. Gu Yuan, founder of China Family Physicians

2. Li Yongwei, internal medicine, Dr. Gu Yuan’s assistant

3. Huang Yanli, Wuhou Healthcare Bureau, director, Innovation Center

4. Luo Xiaolu, Wuhou Healthcare Bureau, director, Tiaoshanta Community Healthcare Center

5. Ma Xidian, Wuhou Healthcare Bureau, director, Jitou Community Healthcare Center

6. Huang Lei, Wuhou, director, Healthcare Bureau, CDC

7. Liu Jingwei, CETC-SS, director, Healthcare Transformation Innovation Center

8. Hao Jiaping, CETC-SS, healthcare business analyst

9. Chen Chaoyang, CETC-SS, diabetes doctor

The following is the agenda presented by our Chinese visitors for their two-day visit.

Day 1

• SETMA’s experience on PCMH transformation

• How SETMA leveraged evidenced-based medicine

• How SETMA made a quality management and improvement system

Day 2

• SETMA’s patient engagement and experience

• How SETMA leveraged big data and IT 

• Future cooperation and potential China visit discussion

While the topics are just for reference and there might be some adjustments, the most important thing is that the whole team sincerely expects to get guidance on primary care transformation.

SETMA’s preparation for this visit

In December 2015, SETMA was invited by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in a meeting for the advancement of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) and CMS’s TCPI program. At the end of that conference, those invited to attend as leaders were invited to present an “Ask and Offer.”

The “Ask” was for the participants to tell CMS what they need from CMS, and the “Offer” was what the leadership could provide to CMS within the next 60 days that would advance the program. The program’s goal was to facilitate 140,000 physicians in transforming their practices to succeed in the changes coming to CMS over the next several years.

SETMA’s Offer — TCPI Library

SETMA’s “Offer” was a library for the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). program. In 40 days, SETMA completed the promise to CMS. It can be seen on SETMA’s website at This material is also linked by CMS to a much larger website maintained by HHS.

China’s interest in SETMA is to learn more about Patient-Centered Medical Home (PC-MH). (Note: SETMA is the only practice in American to have achieved PC-MH recognition and/or accreditation from NCQA, 2010-2019; AAAHC, 2010-2017; URAC, 2014-2017 and the Joint Commission, 2014-2017).

SETMA has just completed the re-accreditation process for our Clinical Laboratory with the Joint Commission and recognition by NCQA for Patient-Centered Medical Home (2014 Standards). SETMA has had NCQA recognition from 2010 through 2019.

In preparation for this third visit, SETMA determined to present each member of the Chinese delegation with a copy of SETMA’s TCPI Library. We began the process having no idea the magnitude of what we proposed. When we finished printing the first copy of the library and preparing indices and dividers for each section of each volume, we discovered that we had over 3,500 pages of material that occupied eight 3-inch binders plus one 4-inch binder.

Obviously, it is impractical for our visitors to take this amount of information home with them, and the task of producing up to 10 sets of such notebooks would be enormous. As a result, we completed one nine-volume set of binders and are presenting each of our visitors with a USB drive with a copy of the entire library on each.

This material has been on our website for the last seven months and we are willing to provide a USB drive to anyone who has use for it. SETMA’s hope is to contribute to the advancement of healthcare in America, as we continue to transform our own practice.

The awards are:

1. Microsoft (MS) Healthcare Users Groups (HUG) Clinic of the Year Award, 2003

2. HIMSS Davies Award for Excellence in EMR, 2005 — Since 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence has recognized outstanding achievement of organizations that have utilized health information technology to substantially improve patient outcomes while achieving return on investment. The Davies Awards program promotes EHR-enabled improvement in patient outcomes through sharing case studies and lessons learned on implementation strategies, workflow design, best practice adherence and patient engagement.

3. Healthcare Information and Management Services Society (HIMSS), National Physician IT Leadership Award, 2012

4. PC-PCC Practice Patient-Centered Medical Home Award, 2014

When this article is published, this two-conference will have ended. It is hoped that it will contribute to the continued collaboration with SETMA and China and the many other U.S. healthcare organizations working with China to help improve their healthcare system, including Richard Jackson, MD, formerly of Joslin Diabetes Center; Maureen Bisognano, president emerita and senior fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI); and Dr. Azhar Ali, who leads IHI’s work in China.


Dr. James L. Holly is CEO of Southeast Texas Medical Associates, LLP (SETMA) in Beaumont.