An Accountable Care Organization
Alegent Health Partners, made up of Alegent Creighton Health, Alegent Creighton Clinic and other area private practice physicians, has been selected as one of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, ensuring Medicare beneficiaries now have access to high-quality, coordinated care.
What are ACOs?
According to Healthcare.gov, ACOs are a group of healthcare providers who give Medicare Fee-for-Service patients coordinated care and chronic disease coordination to improve the quality of care patients get. The organization's payment is tied to achieving healthcare quality goals and outcomes that result in cost savings.
ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe and timely. CMS has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care. Federal savings from this initiative are up to $940 million over four years.
Doctors and healthcare providers can establish ACOs to work together to provide high-quality care to their Medicare Fee-for-Service patients. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 Accountable Care Organizations have been established. Beneficiaries using ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. Accountable Care Organizations share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs, while meeting standards for quality of care.
Alegent Health Partners
The Alegent Health Partners ACO puts an emphasis on the team care concept, in which all members of the clinic staff have identified roles and responsibilities in the care of each patient. Alegent Health Partners has built an infrastructure around our primary care clinics to provide high quality care for our patients by coordinating their care. We’ve developed a system that improves communication between the patient and healthcare providers, enabling us to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
Locally, Alegent Health Partners has placed 32 registered nurses certified as a clinical health coaches in our primary care clinics to serve as medical home ambulatory care coordinators. These nurses are will work with clinic providers to enhance patient care. They will work with patients to provide appropriate healthcare education and referrals to help them coordinate their own health.
Alegent Health Partners also has hired social workers, a registered dietitian and a pharmacist to provide comprehensive, high-quality care for all patients in the medical homes. Those healthcare professionals will:
assist care coordinators by connecting Medicare Fee-for-Service patients with resources and social support networks
provide nutrition education and one-on-one counseling
- provide medication therapy coordination for Medicare Fee-for-Service patients with complex medication needs, in collaboration with Alegent Creighton Clinic and faculty in the Creighton School of Pharmacy
For a list of the 106 new ACOs, visit: CMS.gov/Medicare.
Beneficiaries with general questions, please call 402-255-0049.
More information about the Medicare Shared Savings Program.