ACO roundup: BCBS of Arizona reports 26% cut in readmissions with shared savings program

Key accountable care news from the past week

  • BCBS of Arizona shared savings program linked to a 26% cut in readmissions. BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) this month said its shared savings program, launched with ACO Partner, cut 30-day hospital readmission rates by 26.3% and lowered overarching cost trends by 3.7% between 2016 and 2017. According to BCBSAZ, the initiative was associated with 15% fewer ED visits for every 1,000 patients, and a 28.1% decrease in all-cause readmissions. Overall, participating providers, after exceeding care quality and patient outcome benchmarks, were reimbursed an additional $1 million in payments.

  • Why bigger isn't always better for health systems—and 3 ways you can achieve real 'systemness'. Despite the recent uptick in mergers and acquisitions among providers, there's little evidence that health systems have been able to generate effective economies of scale as they grow. Advisory Board's Heath Care Advisory Board team offers three tips to help growing systems achieve real 'systemness.'

  • Austin's Dell Medical School focuses on community health. Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas, has implemented team-based care appointments as part of efforts to meet a self-imposed mandate to provide care for local underserved populations, aided in part by taxpayer funding, according to an article in Health Affairs. For the team-based appointments, provided for certain conditions at the school's Health Transformation Building, patients over the course of one visit see an average of five providers who are coordinating their care, such as a primary care physician, a social worker, a physical therapist, an NP, and a mental health care provider. According to Dell Medical School, the team-based appointments have "led to fewer follow-up appointments because the patients get the care they need in one stop."

From Advisory Board:

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  • The 2019 Imaging Market Outlook. Join us on Wednesday, December 5, at 3:00 p.m. ET to learn about the rising tide of cost control, payer steerage, regulatory changes, and patient consumerism affecting imaging providers in 2019 and beyond.

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