ACO roundup: Eighth ACO joins Rite Aid Health Alliance

Key accountable care news from July 23 to July 29

The Daily Briefing editorial team rounds up accountable care news from the last week.

  • New report adds to debate over medical home model. A federal demonstration project aimed at bolstering care quality and efficiency at community health centers is unlikely to generate savings, according to a report commissioned by CMS. The $57 million project, run by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, provides federally funded health centers with extra funding to become "medical homes," which coordinate care between various providers. But a recent RAND report found 69% of the clinics that had not dropped out of the demonstration received full accreditation as medical homes, short of HHS's goal of 90%. In addition, HHS had hoped the program would reduce the number of patients' unnecessary hospital visits. However, ED visits and hospital admissions both increased for patients at participating clinics compared with clinics not in the program

  • Reliance ACO joins Rite Aid Health Alliance. Michigan-based Reliance ACO has joined the Rite Aid Health Alliance (RAHA), becoming the eighth ACO to partner with the group. RAHA uses community pharmacists and in-store care coaches who specialize in areas such as meal and exercise planning and medication management to provide community-based health management services to individuals with chronic conditions. Gene Farber, CEO of Reliance, says, "This collaboration represents our commitment to improving patient outcomes and delivering cost effective health care."

From the Advisory Board:

  • Four lessons to help you prepare for mandatory bundled payment. Until now, participation in bundled payment models for joint replacement has been voluntary. Learn how the proposed Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program will change that—and what you'll need to do to prepare.

  • What 1,000 care managers and population health leaders told us. There are countless opportunities to redesign your care management model, but you can't tackle them all. Here are the most-cited opportunities for improvement after comparing responses from those who are highly satisfied with their institution's care management model to those from the remainder of staff.

  • Adjustments ahead: Your value-based purchasing forecast. As value-based purchasing scores depend less on process-of-care measures and more on results-oriented measures like safety, outcomes, and patient satisfaction, organizations are feeling the pressure to focus on everything. Eric Fontana discusses the challenge of excelling on as many measures as possible.

  • The Weekly Briefing, Episode 1: Mega-mergers and pilot programs. On the show's inaugural episode, Dan Diamond, Rob Lazerow, and Rivka Friedman review Medicare's new plan to change how it pays hospitals and doctors and discuss other topics, including whether the Affordable Care Act is driving a historic wave of health care mergers.

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