Medicare ACOs Continue to Improve Quality of Care, Generate Shared Savings

Delaware Valley ACO experiences significant success after first year of participation The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued 2014 quality and financial performance results showing that more Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue to generate financial savings while improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries by fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and health care providers. When an ACO demonstrates that it has achieved high-quality care and effectively reducing spending of health care dollars above certain thresholds, it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. In 2014, 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in savings, which includes all ACOs savings and losses. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time. Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. Delaware Valley ACO (DVACO) was one of the ACOs that generated shared savings. “We at DVACO are very pleased with this early validation of our commitment to moving the business model of health care from one strictly based on volume to one based upon value,...

Delaware Valley ACO Adopts Wellcentive’s Value-Based Care Solution to Manage 100,000+ Lives

Leading Accountable Care Organization will rely on Wellcentive solutions for population health, quality initiatives and advanced care management ATLANTA—Aug. 3, 2015—Wellcentive, the leader in population health management and value-based care solutions, announced that it has signed a five-year agreement to deliver products, services and expanded care management capabilities for the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization(DVACO)—one of the largest Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs in the U.S. Wellcentive will support DVACO’s mission to improve the health of its populations and streamline their transition to value-based reimbursement models. DVACO is a consortium founded and owned by five innovative Philadelphia-area health systems— Thomas Jefferson University Health System , Main Line Health®, Doylestown Health, Holy Redeemer Health System and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital—that recognized the need for collaboration to transform care delivery and adopt value-based reimbursement. The ACO currently covers around 65,000 Medicare beneficiaries, and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In addition to its Medicare Shared Savings Program contract, the ACO is preparing to extend its value-based approach to other payers and purchasers. “We are looking forward to partnering with Wellcentive as DVACO continues to make significant progress in this complex transition to value-based care,” said Katherine Schneider, M.D., M.Phil., FAAFP, president and CEO at Delaware Valley ACO. “As our organization continues to grow and evolve, our ability to implement data driven processes to actively manage our populations and control costs is absolutely critical. Wellcentive demonstrated advanced capabilities to help guide our quality initiatives and patient outcomes, ultimately supporting the health of our patient populations and the success of DVACO as we position ourselves during this transformative time for the industry.”...

DVACO Care Coordination: Supporting Primary Care

The Care Coordination department launched in the fall of 2014, with the addition of the Director of Care Coordination, Ann Marks, RN, who brings over 25 years of experience within payer and provider sectors serving special needs populations. In October 2014, the DVACO added two of its first RN care coordinators, who have since assisted over 500 patients with complex care needs. The DVACO’s care coordination team works with patients in collaboration with their primary care providers, specialists, hospital-based care managers, practice-based care coordinators, and a multitude of agencies, in an effort to reduce fragmentation of patients’ care. Our care coordinators complement existing care coordinators within the health systems’ employed practices or other ambulatory settings. Our goal is to serve as an extension of the primary care providers’ staff.   As the DVACO evolves, we seek ways to improve patient care. This requires utilizing experienced care coordinators who are primarily registered nurses or social workers, along with standardized processes for identifying patients within the population who are most likely to benefit from enhanced care coordination. Technology to support a standardized care coordination process is imperative, and includes patient identification, stratification, data analysis, care planning, alerts about gaps in care, and documentation of the overall care coordination process. A key component of the quality measures we use to evaluate the success of care coordination is continuous monitoring of emergency department utilization and inpatient hospital admissions rates. DVACO also helps monitor the patient’s transition of care from hospital to nursing home or home health, as well as to and from the patient’s own home setting. This includes evaluation of access and adherence...

Katherine A. Schneider, MD, Named President of DVACO

Katherine A. Schneider, MD, has been named President and CEO of the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DV-ACO). Dr. Schneider will provide leadership, strategic direction and ongoing administration and management for all aspects of the DV-ACO. She was selected for this role after an exhaustive search by a committee with representation from each of the organization’s five owners — Main Line Health, Jefferson Health System, Holy Redeemer Health System, Magee Rehab and Doylestown Hospital. Dr. Schneider succeeds David F. Simon who has served as CEO of the DV-ACO since its inception. Her appointment was planned to coincide with the conclusion of Simon’s responsibilities as JHS Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, which resulted from the JHS restructuring earlier this year. Simon’s future endeavors include returning to full time law practice in 2015, as well as continuing as Chairman of the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority. DV-ACO Board Co-Chairs, Jack Lynch, President and CEO of Main Line Health, and Stephen Klasko, MD, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, expressed their excitement regarding the future of the organization: “We are incredibly grateful to David for his work in successfully positioning the DV-ACO for the future, and we are confident that Dr. Schneider’s clinical experience and business ingenuity will situate the DV-ACO as a pioneering model of care delivery as we partner with our physicians to deliver exceptional patient care while lowering health care costs.” “I am honored to be chosen as the new leader tasked with ensuring the continued growth and success of the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization,” said Dr. Schneider. “As our nation undergoes...

Doylestown Hospital and Primary Care Physician Network Join Delaware Valley ACO

Doylestown Hospital and nearly 50 primary care physicians on the Doylestown Hospital Medical Staff have agreed to join Delaware Valley ACO (“DV-ACO”), the largest Medicare Accountable Care Organization in Southeastern Pennsylvania. With this addition, DV-ACO will have approximately 400 primary care physicians in its Medicare ACO. In 2014 DV-ACO began participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program with the twin objectives of improving the quality of care and generating cost efficiencies through better care coordination. Currently, over 30,000 Medicare fee-for- service beneficiaries are attributed to DV-ACO. This number will increase substantially in 2015 with the addition of Doylestown Hospital and its affiliated primary care practices and several other primary care practices in Southeastern PA and southern NJ. “Delaware Valley ACO gives Doylestown Hospital and our primary care physicians the opportunity to collaborate with other elite health systems,” said Jim Brexler, President and CEO of Doylestown Hospital. “The ACO framework complements the work we are already doing within the Doylestown medical community to sharpen our focus on clinical integration, a key goal of our strategic vision for the future.” “We are very excited about Doylestown Hospital and its well-regarded clinical community joining Delaware Valley ACO,” stated David F. Simon, DV-ACO President and CEO. “We also welcome Doylestown Hospital as a co-owner of the ACO, and look forward to working collectively to improve the health of the Delaware Valley...