08 May Introducing Beacon ACO
Regional physicians lead the charge in quality and outcomes
Although the roots of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) took hold initially in the health care industry several years ago as Medicare payment models, today ACOs are quickly spreading in commercial and private payer settings around the country.
Diane Maas, Chief Planning and Business Development Officer for Beacon Health System, is optimistic about the future of the newly formed Beacon ACO.
Launched on Jan. 1, 2017, the ACO’s first group is Beacon associates; more employer groups are expected to join the network in the coming months. As of mid-May, Beacon ACO included 792 providers – both independent and Beacon employed providers. Building on three years of success of
CHA ACO, a Medicare shared-savings ACO (MSSP), Maas anticipates Beacon ACO will follow a similar path.
“We’ve lowered the cost of care over the last couple of years,” Maas says. “We’re at the fifth percentile of costs in the country – and low numbers are good in this case. At the same time, our quality results have increased each year.”
When ACOs are performing at their optimal level, providing the appropriate level of care in the right setting, at the right time and at the highest value and lowest cost can be achieved. Financial incentives for participating providers are linked to the shared savings resulting from improving quality metrics for established goals.
Having engaged, aligned physician leadership and participation woven within the structure of the ACO is crucial for its success. To that end, Beacon ACO Medical Director Gerard Duprat, MD, is working with member physicians to:
- Credential all Beacon ACO-contracted providers (Credentials Committee) and monitor quality metrics established by the physicians and ACO administrators who make up the Quality Committee.
- Physicians will also participate in Beacon ACO’s Finance Committee.
“At all of these levels, there is broad representation from physicians from many practices,” explains Dr. Duprat.
For Dr. Duprat, the combination of working with area physicians who are passionate about providing excellent preventive care and developing parameters for quality measures is exhilarating.
“None of this is going to be possible without active physician participation and engagement. And it has to be participation that is altruistic – you’re not doing this for yourself, you’re doing this for the greater good of the patient and the population.”
What Is Beacon ACO?
On Jan. 1, 2017, Beacon Health System launched Beacon ACO; its first group is Beacon associates. An ACO is a collaborative, voluntary network of doctors and other providers who work together to provide the best health care experience possible, which results in a higher level of care at a reduced cost. By partnering with carefully selected providers that represent the highest tier of quality, while reducing cost, the Beacon ACO network offers significant advantages to patients.
Because providers in Beacon ACO are dedicated to improving quality while controlling the costs of health care, patients benefit from better-coordinated care across the health care continuum. As part of an ACO, patients receive more preventive screenings, better-coordinated care, greater patient-physician communication, and better health education. All of these factors result in a significantly improved patient experience.
For more information about Beacon ACO, visit www.BHSACO.com.