News

Recent news and press releases of the Delaware Valley ACO

Katherine Schneider addresses 2018 HIT Summit

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.

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.

Read complete interview here

Becker’s Hospital Review Names 110 ACOs to Know

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 read here: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/lists/110-acos-to-know-2017.html.

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.

DVACO Selected as one of 79 Renewing Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs

The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) was selected as one of 79 renewing Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs, providing Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States, CMS announced today. Beginning January 1, 2017, a total of 480 Shared Savings Program ACOs are serving over 9 million assigned beneficiaries.

“DVACO has become one of the largest ACOs in the country and has experienced tremendous success in both high quality and smarter spending,” says Katherine Schneider, MD, President of the DVACO. “We are honored to have been selected once again to continue our mission of transforming the care delivery model in the Philadelphia region and beyond.”

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced over 359,000 clinicians are confirmed to participate in four of CMS’s Alternative Payment Models (APMs) in 2017. Clinicians who participate in APMs are paid for the quality of care they give to their patients. APMs are an important part of the Administration’s effort to build a system that delivers better care and one in which clinicians work together to have a full understanding of patients’ needs. APMs also strive to ensure that patients are in the center of their care, and that Medicare pays for what works and spends taxpayer money more wisely, resulting in a healthier country.

“By listening to physicians and engaging them as partners, CMS has been able to develop innovative payment reforms that bring physicians back to the core practice of medicine – caring for the patient,” said Acting Administrator, Andy Slavitt. “By reducing regulatory burden and paying for quality, CMS is offering solutions that improve the quality of services our beneficiaries receive and reduce costs, to help ensure the Medicare program is sustainable for generations to come.”

The Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program), Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Care Model (CEC) and Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) Model all apply the concept of paying for quality and effectiveness of care given to patients in different health care settings. Today, CMS is announcing the participants in each of these models for the 2017 calendar year.

With today’s announcement, participants in the four APMs are improving care delivery in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In 2017, there are:

  • Over 359,000 clinicians participating in APMs
  • More than 12.3 million Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries served
  • 572 ACOs across the Shared Savings Program, Next Generation ACO Model and CEC Model
  • 131 ACOs in a risk-bearing track, including in the Shared Savings Program, Next Generation ACO Model and CEC Model
  • 2,893 primary care practices participating in CPC+

“These models demonstrate CMS’s commitment to partner with providers to improve care for patients,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Director of the CMS Innovation Center. “My mother and over 12 million other Medicare beneficiaries are now cared for by doctors and other clinicians in payment models that focus on better health outcomes and coordinated, high quality care.”

Specific to the Shared Savings Program
The Shared Savings Program was established by section 3022 of the Affordable Care Act and is a key component of the Medicare delivery system reform initiatives included in the Affordable Care Act. Shared Savings Program ACOs are groups of doctors and other health care providers who voluntarily work together with Medicare to provide high quality services to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. In 2017, the Shared Savings Program welcomed 99 new participants and 79 renewing participants, bringing the total number of participants to 480 across 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. CMS also recently announced a new Medicare ACO Track 1+ Model for 2018 that will test a payment design that incorporates more limited downside risk than is currently present in Tracks 2 or 3 of the Shared Savings Program in order to encourage more practices, especially small practices and small rural hospitals, to advance to performance-based risk.

Doctors, hospitals, and health care providers establish ACOs to work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow the growth of health care costs. DVACO is one of 480 ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program, as of January 1, 2017. Beneficiaries seeing health care providers in ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. ACOs have the opportunity to receive a portion of the Medicare savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs as long as they also meet standards for high quality care.

Since ACOs first began participating in the Shared Savings Program in early 2012, thousands of health care providers have signed on to participate in the program, working together to provide better care to Medicare beneficiaries.

For the Shared Savings Program Fact Sheet and a list of the new and renewing ACOs announced, visit the Shared Savings Program News and Updates webpage.

About Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization:
The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO)–the largest and most successful ACO in the greater Philadelphia region – is a limited liability company owned by Main Line Health and Jefferson Health, with around 2000 participating physicians. 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) as well as multiple private payer contracts. For more information please visit www.dvaco.org.

DVACO President Katherine Schneider, MD, Named to List of Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT

(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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For more information:
Bridget Therriault
DVACO
System Director of Communications
484-580-1025
TherriaultB@MLHS.ORG

AETNA SIGNS ACCOUNTABLE CARE ARRANGEMENT WITH DELAWARE VALLEY ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATION

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.

About Aetna
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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151 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06156

Media Contact:
Walt Cherniak
410-401-9490
cherniakjrw@aetna.com

Bridget Therriault
DVACO
484-580-1025
therriaultb@mlhs.org

Delaware Valley ACO, Humana Expand Value Based Care Partnership

As partnership enters its second year, results show improved health measures

PHILADELPHIA & LOUISVILLE, Ky. – December 14, 2015 – Delaware Valley ACO (DVACO), one of the largest Medicare shared savings programs in the U.S., and Humana (NYSE:HUM), a leading health and well-being company, announced favorable results stemming from their year-old partnership. Since 2014, Humana members cared for through the value-based agreement with DVACO have experienced a ten percent increase in medication therapy adherence and a four percent increase in disease management program participation.

In addition, the relationship expanded to include 22 additional physician practices last month, including Abington Health (now part of Jefferson Health), making the value-based health care model now available to 8,200 Humana Medicare Advantage members in the Delaware Valley.

Value-based health care is a new and growing health care model that emphasizes primary care, quality and a more coordinated care experience for patients. The approach, also called accountable care, features tools and information to help primary care physicians and health systems better manage the overall health of the people they care for.

“Seeing gains in drug adherence and disease management participation is important,” explained Eric Bohannon, Vice President of Humana Medicare Products in Pennsylvania. “These early indicators show that value-based care is doing what it’s supposed to: shift our health care system toward a more proactive, coordinated approach.”

The partnership gives Humana members in-network access to DVACO’s integrated health systems, featuring Jefferson Health, Main Line Health, Holy Redeemer Health System, and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. For 2016, DVACO features 667 primary care physicians in five counties.

“At DVACO, we are strongly committed to forming partnerships that will expand our ability to provide coordinated, high quality health care across the care continuum to the communities we serve,” said Katherine Schneider, M.D., M.Phil., FAAFP, president and CEO at Delaware Valley ACO. “We are delighted to build on our 2014 success with Humana. They have brought expertise and resources to the partnership that have allowed us to accelerate the shift to value-based care for the Medicare Advantage population for our participating hospitals and physicians.”

The value-based health care model reflects a shift away from the current episodic health care model to a value-based model that emphasizes quality and better patient care experiences. The accountable care approach aligns DVACO’s and Humana’s complementary population health capabilities, including chronic disease management, wellness programs and data analytics to help predict and avert serious health events.

“The growing trend toward value-based care here in Southeast Pennsylvania is an important shift in the way our health care system works,” said Bohannon. “We now have the tools to help doctors spend more time with their patients and create long-term health in addition to treating sickness.”

The expanded Humana-DVACO agreement includes value-based incentives tied to performance improvement and quality outcomes, emphasizing standard measures defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), including breast cancer screening, colorectal screening, comprehensive diabetes care, and high-risk medications.

Humana has a 30-year accountable care relationship history. The company has 1.6 million individual Medicare Advantage members and 200,000 commercial members today that are cared for by approximately 44,000 primary care physicians, in more than 900 value-based relationships across 43 states and Puerto Rico..

About Delaware Valley ACO
The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization (DVACO) is a limited liability company that is 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 population health. DVACO operates under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and is currently the region’s largest Medicare ACO. For more information please visit www.dvaco.org.

About Humana
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events; and
  • Corporate Governance information.

For more information:
Jeff Blunt
Humana Corporate Communications
513-826-7094
jblunt@humana.com

Bridget Therriault
DVACO
484-580-1025
TherriaultB@MLHS.ORG

The Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization and the Future of Clinician Payment

The DVACO leadership team has spent the past few weeks delivering substantial bonus checks to physicians who were participating in 2014, our first performance year, in which we received the 9th largest shared savings payout in the country for Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO’s. While this has been the cause of much celebration, I was reminded just today while at a regional CMS meeting that regardless of shared savings achievements, in our next contract cycle (2017-2019) the biggest changes in physician/clinician payment during most of our careers will go into effect and ACO’s are front and center.

MACRA, MIPS, APMs- sounds like alphabet soup but these programs will begin to drive as much as 18% differentials in physician payment from Medicare – and as you know, the private payers tend to follow along shortly.

In a nutshell, all of the current value-based programs (e.g. PQRS) will transition into clinicians being able to choose one of two tracks. The first, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is a budget-neutral program in which performance in four domains (quality, care experience, cost efficient episodes of care, and Meaningful Use of Technology) will drive either payment reduction or increase. Doing nothing will likely result in an immediate 4% payment reduction in 2019, transitioning to -9%. The second option is to be a participant in an Alternative Payment Model (APM) like an ACO for a sizable portion of your Medicare business, or in a multipayor APM. In the APM track, a 5% annual bonus is paid, on top of any payments from shared savings. Use of an electronic medical record is mandatory in the APM model. CMS’s rationale is that the APM’s require many of the same initiatives as needed to be successful in MIPS – and indeed, at the DVACO we are already publicly reporting quality, patient experience, requiring EMR, and tracking efficiency.

Frankly, we have a lot of opportunity to improve on the total cost of care in this region. As clinicians and clinical leaders, we should be advocates for this from a patient safety perspective – first and foremost we should not be using society’s resources on services that our own specialty societies* have determined may cause harm, or are not in line with our patients’ goals of care, or those that provide no meaningful marginal benefit.

By focusing on these opportunities we can truly achieve the triple aim of improving quality, care experience, and cost. The work of the DVACO and the local work taking place in our underlying Clinically Integrated Networks at Main Line, Jefferson, Holy Redeemer, and Doylestown Health form the foundation for success of our community’s clinicians in payment changes that are coming our way very soon.

For a simple graphic of the timeline of CMS payment transformation: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/Timeline.PDF
For information on common care patterns where there is great opportunity to improve value, see www.choosingwisely.org

Who is DVACO?

We are the area’s largest Accountable Care Organization, leading the way in health improvement by streamlining provider participation to enhance the quality and personalization of patient care. Learn More

Contact Info

Address
PO Box 356,
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone 610-225-6295
Toll Free Number 855-761-9345
TTY# 610-225-6275
Email dvacomail@dvaco.org
Business Hours 9-5pm