NewsRecent news and press releases of the Delaware Valley ACO
Radnor, PA September 21, 2020 Delaware Valley ACO and its parent organizations, Main Line Health and Jefferson Health, were recognized for their collective work to create an innovative collaborative post-acute care strategy by the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (“HAP”). The “2020 Living the Vision Achievement Award” was presented to DVACO and its owners at HAP’s 2020 Patient Safety and Quality Symposium, held virtually September 9-10, 2020.
HAP’s prestigious “Living the Vision Award” recognizes one project that demonstrates accomplishments in all dimensions of the health care “Triple Aim” of improving community health and patient experience, while reducing health care costs. HAP selected DVACO and its owners from among 131 entrants for this honor.
The ACO’s Post Acute Care (“PAC”) Steering Committee, led by Beth Souder, PT, MSPT, DVACO Interim Vice President for Clinical Operations, and comprised of clinical leaders from DVACO, Jefferson Health and Main Line Health, were instrumental in identifying the improvements that led to led to this recognition.
Reflecting on this accomplishment and the work ahead, Ms. Souder stated:
“As the vehicle by which Jefferson Health System and Main Line Health System choose to collaborate on population health and value-based care, it is a true honor to have our collective work recognized and rewarded by HAP with the “Living the Vision Award”. Two large hospital health systems in the Delaware Valley having an aligned, data driven, evidence-based post acute strategy focused on improving value is a win-win situation. It benefits our patients, our post-acute partners, our physicians, our hospital partners and our payor partners.”
This is the third major award for DVACO’s groundbreaking work in post acute services, with work previously recognized by the National Association of ACOs and MCG Health.
ACO implements evidence-based guidelines within SNF network to improve care coordination and reduce costs by $1.3 million
Radnor, PA, July 24, 2020 – MCG Health, part of the Hearst Health network and a leading provider of informed care strategies, has named Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) a recipient of the 2019 Richard L. Doyle Award for Innovation and Leadership in Healthcare, awarded to the organization this spring.
The Philadelphia-area ACO was recognized for implementing a unique post-acute strategy which significantly reduced patient length of stay in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and improved care coordination across the post-acute continuum of care. By leveraging MCG’s Chronic Care and Recovery Facility Care guidelines and a web-based tool to track their patients’ stays in post-acute care, Delaware Valley ACO reduced the average length of stay (LOS) by one full day and achieved a $1.3 million savings in Medicare expenditures. The ACO also decreased home health spend by 8% over the same timeframe. Since the ACO’s inception in 2014, they have been able to reduce overall SNF spend in their network by an impressive 30%.
Delaware Valley ACO’s strategic initiative used claims data to define the top 20 diagnoses for patients utilizing a SNF. The ACO then partnered with MCG to publish length of stay guidelines for these diagnoses and share them across their SNF network. This critical step encouraged proactive multi-disciplinary care planning at the time of admission. In turn, this helped to identify barriers to discharge earlier in the patient’s stay and initiate the proper actions to resolve them. Delaware Valley ACO’s SNF partners now proactively communicate with a patient’s primary care physician (and/or ambulatory care coordinator) to discuss clinical, social, medication, or palliative care goals. View full Press Release on the Doyle Award
The Becker Hospital Review Meeting for April 2020 has been cancelled.
On April 7, 2020 DVACO CEO Katherine Schneider joins Jack Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Main Line Health, and Bruce Meyer, M.D., President Jefferson Health; Senior Executive Vice President, Thomas Jefferson University, as part of a panel discussion: “Building Strong Provider/Payer Relationships Through Collaboration”. As part of Becker’s ongoing interview series, Dr. Schneider shared thoughts on inspiration, care models, and transformation in healthcare. View more information on the interview series.
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.