VOLUME 3 - ISSUE 31
JULY 3, 2012



Welcome to the Accountable Care Update eNewsletter
This issue is sponsored by the ACO Emerging Models Conference



CareFirst to Expand Private Medical Homes Model to Medicare with CMMI Grant
CareFirst, a Maryland-based Patient-Centered Medical Home program has been awarded a $24 million innovation grand from the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. This is based in part on the success CareFirst has achieved including $40 million in private sector savings in its first year. The money will be used for physician incentives to expand the model to 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. (Inside Health Policy, June 27, 2012)

Growth and Dispersion of Accountable Care Organizations: June 2012 Update
Leavitt Partners has released a white paper detailing the growth of ACOs since its last report in November 2011. During this period the number of ACOs has grown by 38% to 221. This report categorizes ACOs by state, Hospital Referral Region, organization type and sponsorship. (Leavitt Partners, June 2012)

More Medicare ACO Advanced Payments Available
CMS has announced the third application round for its Advance Payment Model program for ACOs seeking to participate in Medicare's Shared Savings Program. The Advanced Payment Model is a vehicle in which funding (an advance against future distributed savings) can be received from CMS to assist ACOs in development of their organizations including information technology acquisition. The application period opens August 1, 2012 and closes September 19, 2012. The performance period will commence January 2012. (Health Data Management, June 25, 2012)

Life After the Supreme Court: Accountable Care Catches Wave
This Forbes article suggests that the Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the Affordable Care Act will likely create a surge of interest in ACOs. He cites Michael Cryter, National Medical Director for Aon Hewitt, who said of ACOs in a March 12, 2012 Forbes article, "We are seeing the beginnings of a tsunami." (Forbes, June 25, 2012)



Q&A: SCOTUS Ruling Could Spark ACO Uptake
Donald Fisher, PhD, CEO of the American Medical Group Association, agrees with the Forbes story. In a recent interview, he notes that because the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act sustains Medicare's Shared Savings Program, many provider organizations that have taken a wait and see approach will move to form ACOs. (Government Health IT, June 29, 2012)

AMGA, Press Ganey Launch ACO Tool
To aid in ACOs' efforts to improve efficiency, quality and patient experience, the American Medical Group Management Association (AMGA) and Press Ganey have developed a new tool called the AMGA-Press Ganey Coordinated Care Solution. Geisinger Health System was one of the pilot sites for the tool. Their interest in participation, according to Tom Graf, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, was collecting previously unavailable opinions from patients on what they thought "...we were doing right and what we could improve as they moved from one type of provider to another during their treatment." (Healthcare IT News, June 15, 2012)

Cleveland Clinic to Begin New Model of Health Care at 3 Family Health Centers
The Cleveland Clinic is rolling out a pilot project at three campuses based on the principles of the accountable care organization. David Longworth, MD, says the project is intended to test the model. "It is a simulation of an ACO." The Clinic will be testing different mixes of physicians, nurses and medical assistants at each site, employing 33 of the quality metrics outlined in the ACO regulations according to Longworth. Because this model is not being implemented in conjunction with Medicare or any payer, there will be some short-term losses but Longworth says changes to the payment model must be made. (Plain Dealer, June 30, 2012)

Health Information Technology in the Era of Care Delivery Reform: To What End?
A JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Viewpoint details the importance of health information technology for reform-based organizations such as ACOs and Patient Centered Medical Homes. "The success of ACOs depends on a broad care team all having timely information that allows them to management care so that it is efficient, effective and less fragmented," the report's summary reads. Access to the report may require a subscription. (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, June 27, 2012)

3 Biggest Obstacles for ACO Structures: Capital, Engagement & Leadership
In addition to addressing the three major obstacles facing ACOs of capital, engagement and leadership, this article provides timely advice for physicians and practices evaluating participation in an ACO including doing the homework, participating in negotiating the terms for the ACO and evaluating the market for the ACO. (Becker's Hospital Review, June 13, 2012)




Growth and Dispersion of Accountable Care Organizations: June 2012 Update

Leavitt Partners has released a white paper detailing the growth of ACOs since its last report in November 2011. During this period the number of ACOs has grown by 38% to 221. This report categorizes ACOs by state, Hospital Referral Region, organization type and sponsorship. (Leavitt Partners, June 2012)

ACO Distribution by State



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Keynote Address Day Two: The National Accountable Care Organization Summit

Francis J. (Jay) Crosson, MD
The Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, San Francisco, California