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Ballad Health’s accountable care organization among best performing in the nation
Ballad Health’s accountable care organization is one of only 18 in the country to generate savings for federal taxpayers for the entire six years of the program, according to results released recently by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
AnewCare Collaborative, the region’s first accountable care organization, has generated more than $54 million dollars in total savings since its creation in 2012. For the 2018 performance year, AnewCare generated $7.2 million in savings. The ACO’s savings rate was 7.1% better than Medicare’s benchmark. Since the merger creating Ballad Health, AnewCare achieved a 94.4% quality score, a substantial increase from the previous year and among the highest in the history of the Collaborative.
The goal of an accountable care organization – commonly referred to as an ACO – is to create healthier communities while reducing the total cost of healthcare. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who voluntarily collaborate to lower the overall cost of care and improve health outcomes, quality of care and patient satisfaction. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure patients – especially those with chronic illnesses – get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.
AnewCare enjoys the support and participation of hundreds of providers in Virginia and Tennessee. Ballad Health owns and operates the ACO, providing the financial and human resources to operate the integrated support functions. The governing board of AnewCare is comprised primarily of physicians from both Ballad Health Medical Associates and independent practices. One board member is an active Medicare beneficiary designated to represent Medicare patients’ interests.
Of the 107 ACOs nationwide that have been in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for the last six years, only 18 have achieved shared savings each year. For the 2018 performance year, a total of 548 ACOs participated in the program.
“Ballad Health’s success in delivering tens of millions of dollars in savings to taxpayers, combined with achieving the highest level of quality in the history of its participation in the program, is a testament to the vision of Ballad Health – which is to reduce the cost of healthcare while ensuring consistent high quality and patient satisfaction,” said Dr. Stephen Combs, chair of the AnewCare Board of Directors.
“This accomplishment would not be possible without the support and collaboration of our providers all across the region, who work diligently to improve the health of our community.”
To more successfully navigate the changing healthcare system, many physicians recognize the advantages of joining an ACO, like AnewCare, where they can share information and responsibility in providing patient-centered care.
AnewCare providers also gain access to additional support staff, new communication systems and the latest data on methods and procedures for particular conditions.
“I am incredibly proud of all of our clinicians and the support teams that make the ACO successful,” said Dr. Shari Rajoo, medical director for AnewCare. “The combination of demonstrated high quality with lower costs shows how leading health systems, like Ballad Health, are transforming the delivery of healthcare. This is the promise of a coordinated, integrated system.”