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February 15, 2018

ACO roundup: UAB launches new ACO

Daily Briefing
    • Study: Medicare well visits boost revenue—but few practices are adopting the service. Primary care practices that adopted Medicare's annual wellness visits saw revenue bumps, but adoption rates vary by geographic location and patient population, according to a study published this month in Health Affairs. Overall, the researchers found that 51.2% of practices did not offer annual wellness visits in 2015, while 23.1% offered such visits to at least 25% of their eligible beneficiaries. However, while practices that adopted such visits "saw increases in primary care revenue," the researchers wrote that annual wellness "visit rates were lower among practices caring for underserved populations (for example, racial minorities and those dually enrolled in Medicaid), potentially worsening disparities." The researchers recommended that policymakers "consider ways to encourage uptake of the visit or other mechanisms to promote preventive care in underserved populations and the practices that serve them."

    • UAB launches ACO. CMS has authorized UAB Health System's new ACO under the Medicare Shared Savings Program to start serving patients this year, Tyler Patchen writes for the Birmingham Business Journal. The ACO, which is expected to care for more than 16,000 patients, includes Cahaba Health Center, Christ Health Center, Medical West Hospital, UAB Hospital, and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.

    • Cleveland Clinic: Our partnership with Oscar Health is beating expectations by 30%. Last year, Cleveland Clinic and Oscar Health announced that they were teaming up to sell individual health plans both on and off of the Affordable Care Act's exchanges for the 2018 coverage year—and the effort appears to be off to a successful start. According to Crain's Cleveland Business, the companies estimate that their health plans accounted for 15% of those sold on the individual market during the open enrollment period for the 2018 coverage year, with 11,000 total enrollees. Kevin Sears, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Market & Network Services, said enrollment was 30% to 40% greater than the companies had anticipated.

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