HHS Selects 32 ‘Pioneers’ To Test New Health Care Model For Seniors
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday a group of 32 medical providers that will work with the federal government to test an experiment in improving the quality and lowering the cost of health care.
Los Angeles Times: New Partnerships Aim To Lower Medicare Costs, Improve Care
The Obama administration Monday announced new partnerships with 32 of the nation's leading medical providers that have agreed to work with the federal government to improve the quality and lower the cost of care for Americans who rely on Medicare (Levey, 12/19).
The Associated Press: Medicare Launches Experiment To Improve Care
Medicare says it's launching a national experiment to improve care for seniors, and hopefully save taxpayers money as well. Officials announced Monday that 32 networks of doctors and hospitals around the country are becoming Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. Behind the acronym is a coordinated approach to medicine so that risks like high blood pressure and elevated blood sugars are managed better and patients get help leading a healthier lifestyle (12/19).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 32 'Pioneers' Selected To Test New Health Care Model For Seniors
Thirty-two groups were named Monday to test a new health care model, called for in the health care law, which is designed to improve care for seniors while reducing costs" (Torres, 12/19).
Politico Pro: ACOs: The Role Of The Patient
Success or failure for the newly named Medicare ACO Pioneers may depend on one thing they can't control. Their patients. ACOs will bring health care providers together and hold them accountable for costs and outcomes of the patients for whom they provide the most care. Patients will be assigned to the ACO — but they aren't obligated to stay within it. They can go to outside doctors — who don't necessarily follow the same treatment protocols as ACO physicians, and don't necessarily share the kind of health information that makes care coordination possible. Patients can even opt out of the data-sharing that facilitates care coordination even if they continue to see ACO doctors (Feder, 12/20).
News coverage of this accountable care organization announcement included local reports from areas that will be debuting the concept —
Boston Globe: Massachusetts To Debut Medicare Pay Plan
Massachusetts is set once again to become a testing ground for a major federal effort to overhaul the health care industry. Five of the 32 hospital systems and physician groups that will become "pioneers"’ in a program to change how doctors are paid for the care they provide Medicare patients are from Eastern Massachusetts. Starting Jan. 1, the program will give them a budget to care for their estimated 150,000 patients, rather than a payment for each test or treatment (Conaboy, 12/20).
Arizona Republic: Banner To Test New Medicare Program
Banner Health Network is among 32 health systems tapped by Medicare to test a program under the nation's new health care law that aims to compel hospitals and physicians to improve health quality for seniors and lower costs for the U.S. government. ... Banner Health Network is the only health care provider in Arizona tapped for the initiative. The program expects to enroll an estimated 50,000 Medicare recipients in Arizona who typically would have about $500 million in annual medical costs (Alltucker, 12/19).
Bloomberg: Health Alliances To Share Medical Savings
A university health system in Michigan and a Boston center affiliated with Harvard Medical School are among the first hospitals to join the health care law's most ambitious attempt at reducing medical spending, the government said today. The Department of Health and Human Services designated 32 health systems part of a partnership with Medicare to encourage the formation of networks known as "accountable care organizations" (Wayne, 12/19).
WBUR's Common Health blog: What Boston's Pioneer ACOs Will Mean For Patients
As we reported last week, five Boston area hospitals and physician groups will have a dominant role in a federal experiment that could transform Medicare. All Medicare patients who see doctors through Atrius Health, Partners HealthCare, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mount Auburn Hospital or any of the Steward Health hospitals will be affected. The question is how? The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced 32 organizations that will "Pioneer" the move to accountable care organizations (ACOs). Greater Boston, with five of the 32, will have a large concentration of doctors and patients testing ways to coordinate care and reduce costs (Bebinger, 12/19).
Minnesota Public Radio: Feds Choose 3 Minn. Health Systems For National Program
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has chosen three Minnesota health systems to take part in a national program designed to improve patient care while lowering costs to Medicare. The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program will test different ways of paying hospitals and doctors based on the quality and cost of the care they provide rather than the number of procedures or tests they perform. Allina Health System, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services — all based in the Twin Cities — were chosen for the Pioneer ACO program (Stawicki, 12/19).
(Minneapolis-St. Paul Minn.) Pioneer Press: Allina, Fairview And Park Nicollet Chosen For Medicare 'Affordable Care' Program
Three health care groups in Minnesota will be among a select group of hospitals across the country to participate in a new Medicare program that hopes to improve care while cutting costs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that 32 health care organizations across the country will participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations program (12/19).
The Detroit Free Press: U.S. Lauds 3 Michigan Health Systems For Model Medicare Programs
Three health systems in Detroit, Ann Arbor and the suburban Flint area were among 32 cited by the federal government Monday for having model programs to improve care for Medicare patients. The Detroit Medical Center, the University of Michigan and Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc were chosen to test a new federal payment strategy. If successful, payments will be based on how a system performs on quality measurements, not volume of business, as it is now (Anstett, 12/20).
Meanwhile, Politico reports a related story about the cost and efficiency complexities that are involved in health reform —
Politico: Medical Reform's Daunting Task: Hospital Billing
Hospitals blame insurers, insurers blame hospitals, both say consumers should beware, and consumer groups say it's asking a lot to have patients understand the intricacies of hospital billing, physician contracting and insurance network-building (Feder, 12/19).