Better patient outcomes are the goal of any healthcare organization. With the Affordable Care Act covering an estimated 32 million patients, population health metrics are in sharp focus.
For an accountable care organization (ACO), where the shift has been from a volume-based reimbursement model to one based on quality and efficiency, population health management is a key component of the organization’s success. But increasing transparency and simplifying the collection of clinical and population-based data presents a particular challenge. How does an ACO benchmark its efforts to cut costs, improve patient safety and produce overall better outcomes?
One ACO that’s navigated the population health conundrum with positive results is physician-led Triad HealthCare Network (THN). A subsidiary of Greensboro, North Carolina-based health system Cone Health, THN features a network of more than 1,200 physicians and providers and six hospitals covering patients across five North Carolina counties.
Chosen to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO program, THN generated results in 2015 that made the organization fifth in the country for quality. The following year, THN earned a spot as one of 18 ACOs in the Next Generation ACO program, an innovative model that allowed participants to take on higher levels of financial risk. In the first year of the program, THN produced $10.7 million in shared savings, ranking second out of the 18 ACOs that participated in the program in 2016. THN also scored 100 percent on quality based on reporting for the 34 required quality measures.