UH News

UH to Participate as a Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization

Friday, July 13, 2012

Voluntary, New Care Coordination Program created to Offer High Quality Service and Care to Beneficiaries through Partnership with Medicare

CLEVELAND: University Hospitals (UH), an industry recognized integrated health care system based in Cleveland, OH, has been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (ACO), a multifaceted new program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO, among the centerpieces of the Affordable Care Act, is designed to bring together networks of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to achieve a triple benefit: better population health management, lower per-capita cost and an excellent patient experience. Under the program, UH becomes Northeast Ohio’s largest Medicare ACO and is one of only a few academic medical centers in the nation participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which now includes 154 ACOs.

The new Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO will leverage UH’s nationally recognized academic medical center, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; six wholly owned regional medical centers; 21 health centers; 200 primary care locations and 1,500 providers that compose what is consistently recognized as one of the most integrated health systems in the nation.

UH’s participation in the Shared Savings Program ACO provides the opportunity to join the pediatric care coordination efforts with UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Physician Extension Team, which recently received a three-year $12.7 million grant – one of the largest awarded – by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovations (CMMI). The Rainbow program is designed to improve care, lower costs and improve the overall health and wellness for more than 65,000 children and will be utilized as a transformative national model.

As it launches the Medicare ACO, UH will capitalize on nearly 2 years of experience managing the University Hospitals Accountable Care Organization (UHACO). Since 2011, the UHACO has helped improve the health and wellness of approximately 25,000 employees and dependents enrolled in a UH medical plan. Together UH’s coordinated care efforts will provide high quality, high-value services for more than 130,000 Northeast Ohio patients.

“UH’s participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO is an extension of our commitment to innovation, quality and our community,” said Eric J. Bieber, MD, MSHCM, Chief Medical Officer for University Hospitals and President, UH Accountable Care Organization. “The coordinated care approach at the center of the Shared Savings Program ACO will ultimately make it easier for patients to navigate the health care system, including improved access to physicians and quality health care services.”

As UH implements the Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO, providers will partner with UH’s Clinical Care Coordination Team to improve the health and wellness of their ACO patients. This team will assist in providing individualized treatment plans and will help improve the efficiency of care delivery by helping patients coordinate timely appointments, manage medications, determine appropriate follow-up care, and aligning patients with wellness programs that focus on prevention as well as other support services.

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