Today’s health care challenges call for innovative ways to improve the quality of care while reducing costs. For three years, we’ve been pursuing new solutions through the U.S. government’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program, and federal data released this week show that in the past year, we’ve slowed health care cost growth for 70,000 Medicare patients through the program.

During our third year participating in the Pioneer ACO, we saved $21.6 million, spending 2.7 percent below the benchmark Medicare uses to measure Partners’ performance. In combination with years one and two, we’ve saved a total of $39.2 million—$18.8 million of which were shared with the federal government.

Managing Care Costs Source: Boston Globe

In this pilot initiative, Partners is one of 19 health care organizations working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center to transform the way health care is delivered. Through investments in population health management, patient-centered medical homes and our integrated care management program, among other initiatives, we’ve improved care coordination for some of our most complex patients.

The results have not only brought savings, but also higher quality care. Partners compared favorably with the rest of the nation in 27 of 33 of the performance measures tracked through the Pioneer ACO, and our overall quality score of 88.85 percent ranked among the best in the nation. In behavior health, especially, we’ve nearly doubled the rate of depression screenings in Medicare patients.

“Each year we learn more about the best approaches to caring for our Medicare patients,” said Partners President and CEO David Torchiana, MD. “Our work, combined with the work of other Boston-area pioneers including Atrius, Beth Israel Deaconess, Mount Auburn and Steward, is helping to craft a blueprint for the rest of the nation as we all work toward improving patient care and controlling costs.”

Topics: Affordability, Innovation, Medicare/Medicaid

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