Recent news and press releases of the Delaware Valley ACO
Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization recipient of the National Association of ACOs Innovation Award
A large percentage of patients’ care occurs in post-acute environments such as nursing facilities, home health and hospice and outpatient rehab therapy. The care provided in these environments demonstrates high variability in both quality and cost outcomes. The DVACO developed methods to measure both quality and cost outcomes (value) in post-acute care, and then defined high-value partners and effective strategies, which is a critical factor to success for any population health/value-based care endeavor.
“We were proud to receive this award which recognized our use of data to develop post-acute strategy and ultimately improve outcomes for our patients,” said Souder.
Katherine Schneider, MD, president, DVACO added, “We are honored to have been recognized by NAACOS for the broad and deep changes implemented by our physicians and hospitals, supported by data, that over the past four years have improved quality and safety while reducing the total cost of skilled nursing facility spending by 25% in our Medicare population. We are excited to continue to strengthen these collaborations as more and more emphasis is placed on excellent care coordination across the continuum and the community.”
The NAACO allows ACOs to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs and improve the health of their communities. Determined to create an environment for advocacy and shared learning, more than 360 ACOs with more than 5 million lives from all 50 states and the District of Columbia formed NAACOS.
When it comes to some of the highest-risk and most costly people in the country, “change doesn’t happen overnight.” In this January 2019 Q & A with HFMA, Dr. Schneider discusses CMS’ December 2018 ACO Final Rule and its likely impact on ACOs.
DVACO CEO Katherine A. Schneider, M.D. addressed the 2018 Health Information Technology Summit, held in Philadelphia in May 2018. Read more here to learn her thoughts on Patient Engagement and why “engagement” may now be the most overused word in health care.
New faces may be headed to Congress, but they will encounter an old problem: the threat of rising health care spending. The debate about value based payment models and what is and isn’t working is likely to be front and center in the months ahead. Find out more about alternative payment models in this informative Health Affairs blog post.
Catching up with Katherine Schneider, M.D., M.Phil., FAAFP, CEO of DVACO in an interview with Population Health News
Population Health News: How does population health integrate with accountable care?
Katherine Schneider: My motto is that ACOs are all about the “C” part of the acronym. If we don’t change the care model at an individual level, then we will not achieve improvements in outcomes, which include the health of a population, the care experience and smarter spending. I also view population health as a set of tools that we are integrating into the delivery system for data-driven quality improvement and care coordination. It is a viewpoint that expands beyond the four walls and timespan of a provider visit to include what happens to/for/by people 24/7, 365 days of the year regardless of where they are.
Population Health News: How do you embed chronic disease management in a delivery system?
Katherine Schneider: While I get annoyed when people say it’s all about the incentives, it certainly is a foundational prerequisite to have meaningful incentives aligned with better chronic disease care processes and outcomes. But you also have to teach providers new skills and give them tools. I like to use the analogy of surgeons learning to use laparoscopes decades ago. Last but not least, you need to address what should be embedded directly in a delivery system. Successful “embedding” really means transformative disruption of historical workflows of clinical practice, such as redistributing tasks to multidisciplinary teams working at the maximal scopes of their licenses. If this level of change is required of clinicians, then ensure that the rest of the system is also expected to change to support better outcomes (i.e., benefit designs which promote adherence to chronic disease self management rather than the other way around). Ultimately, we need to make doing the right thing the easiest default choice for care teams and patients. We still have a lot of work to do.
Becker’s Hospital Review has named the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) to their 2017 list of 110 ACOs to Know. The list features a variety of Medicare and commercial payer ACOs, led by hospitals, health systems, physician groups and other organizations, that have experienced success with their quality metrics.
“We are honored to be included as one of Becker’s 110 ACOs to Know,” says Katherine Schneider, MD, President of the DVACO. “Since its inception, the DVACO has enrolled more than 200,000 patients who are receiving coordinated care as part of our multi-health system joint venture. DVACO has also become one of the largest ACOs in the country and has experienced tremendous success as one of the top performing ACOs under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. As we continue to grow, DVACO will remain serving as a catalyst for change in the Philadelphia region on how to help providers come together as more than the sum of their parts in their journey from volume to value.”
The Becker’s Healthcare editorial team selected ACOs for inclusion based on quality and cost performance, advanced tracks of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the innovative nature of commercial agreements. ACOs are presented in alphabetical order and are either listed by formal name of the ACO or, if the organization has several contracts, by the name of the health system or provider group associated with those ACOs. The full list can be viewed here.
About the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO)
The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) is a limited liability company that is owned by Main Line Health and Jefferson Health, serving the Greater Philadelphia region. DVACO’s purpose is to enhance the quality of health care and reduce the growth rate of health care costs by acting as a convener, accelerator, and provider of the foundation needed to assist its participating members to transition from fee for service, a business model focused on volume, to a model focused on population health.
DVACO operates under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) through an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Currently DVACO is the region’s largest Medicare ACO with more than 2,000 physicians and 90,000 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Additionally, DVACO currently holds three performance-based contracts with private payers as well as the employees and dependents of its owners —enhancing DVACO’s total number of beneficiaries to above 250,000—a number that will likely increase in the future as DVACO participates with additional insurance payers in population health contracts.
About Becker’s Hospital Review
Becker’s Hospital Review is a monthly publication offering up-to-date business and legal news and analysis relating to hospitals and health systems. Articles are geared toward high-level hospital leaders, and we work to provide valuable information, including hospital and health system news, best practices and legal guidance specifically for these decision-makers. Each issue of Becker’s Hospital Review reaches more than 18,000 people, primarily acute care hospital CEOs, CFOs and CIOs.
(Radnor, PA – June 8, 2016) — Katherine Schneider, MD, President of the Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO), has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in healthcare technology by Health Data Management. Dr. Schneider was chosen as one of the “Provider/Payer Executives” honorees and was one of 75 women to receive this honor. She received the award at the Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT event held last month in Boston. The program honored award winners and offered professional development, mentoring and networking for women in the industry.
“I am honored to be recognized amongst a group of women who are truly leaders in the IT field,” said Dr. Schneider. “The health care industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation and IT innovations are providing the foundation for new care models and producing key information at the right time, all to benefit the patients and communities we serve.”
The DVACO is a limited liability company that is owned in part by Main Line Health. DVACO’s purpose is to enhance the quality of health care and reduce the growth rate of health care costs by acting as a convener, accelerator, and provider of the foundation needed to assist its participating members to transition from fee for service model, a business model focused on volume, to a model focused on population health. Dr. Schneider has been leading the DVACO since 2014. She provides leadership, strategic direction and management for all aspects of the organization.
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System Director of Communications
BLUE BELL, Pa., Feb. 2, 2016 – Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that it has signed an accountable care organization (ACO) agreement with Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO), offering commercial customers in Southeastern Pennsylvania a health care model designed to improve quality, efficiency and the patient experience.
The DVACO’s member hospitals and physicians provide care under a value-based, patient-centric model of health care delivery that is focused on keeping people healthy. The agreement with Aetna is anticipated to include approximately 70,000 current Aetna commercially insured members who are under the care of DVACO-affiliated primary care physicians.
“This is an exciting development for Aetna and its members in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Laurie Brubaker, president of Aetna’s operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. “We’ve been building value-based relationships with physicians in Pennsylvania for the past couple of years, and we’re delighted to work with DVACO to improve care and the patient experience for our members.”
“This collaboration with Aetna comes on the heels of our very successful first year in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and allows us to expand our ability to positively transform health care delivery in the greater Philadelphia area,” said Katherine Schneider, M.D., M.Phil., FAAFP, president and CEO at Delaware Valley ACO. “At DVACO, our primary focus is to deliver a valuable experience to our communities through high-quality care and effective coordination between health care providers and this innovative collaboration with Aetna will extend our population health capabilities to benefit non-Medicare commercially insured residents in our region.”
“I, and many of my physician colleagues, are excited for this partnership with Aetna that will ultimately extend our ability to transition even more patient visits to value-based care,” explained Dr. William Greer, primary care physician and DVACO Board member. “This new relationship is another step forward in transforming our health care model to one that focuses on maintaining ongoing relationships with our patients to keep them well and proactively promote their health, in addition to caring for them when they are sick.”
The agreement is part of Aetna’s strategy to transition from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payment. Value-based arrangements are emerging as a solution to address rising health care costs, reduce duplication of services, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for people to get the care they need. In value-based models, doctors and hospitals are paid for helping keep people healthy and for improving the health of those who have chronic conditions in an evidence-based, cost-effective way.
The ACO model is designed to offer:
- More coordinated, team-based care among doctors and other care providers;
- Enhanced patient experience through best-in-class care management programs and technology that delivers information to all providers;
- Better health care outcomes.
The agreement features a new payment model that rewards physicians for meeting certain measures designed to improve quality, lower costs and improve patient satisfaction. Examples include reducing potentially avoidable hospital admissions and emergency-room visits, and increasing appropriate cancer screenings and comprehensive diabetes care. Aetna provides health benefits to nearly 1.4 million members in Pennsylvania.
About Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization:
The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO)–the largest and most successful ACO in the greater Philadelphia region, operating under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)– is a limited liability company owned by Main Line Health, Jefferson Health, Holy Redeemer Health System, Doylestown Health, and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. DVACO’s purpose is to enhance the quality of health care and reduce the growth rate of health care costs by acting as a convener, accelerator, and provider of the foundation needed to assist its participating members to transition from fee for service model, a business model focused on volume, to a model focused on value-based care and population health. DVACO operates under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). For more information please visit www.dvaco.org.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46.5 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com and learn about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews
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