MORRISTOWN, NJ – SEPTEMBER 2021 – Three of Atlantic Health System’s affiliated accountable care organizations (ACOs) improved care for 61,604 Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey and saved Medicare a total of $28,553,746 by meeting quality and cost goals in 2020, according to recently released performance data from the federal agency that administers Medicare.
“When providers work together through an ACO to focus on patients and invest in care coordination, information technology and other care improvements, they can increase quality and reduce costs,” said Thomas Kloos MD, President of two of the ACOs, the Atlantic ACO and Healthcare Quality Partners. “ACOs like ours are measurably improving care and saving money while maintaining patient choice of Medicare providers. We have also shown that shared savings can be obtained by both risk sharing and non-risk sharing ACOs under unified management.”
The Medicare data shows that the three ACOs each received a high quality score – 97.19% for Atlantic ACO, 96.87% for Optimus Healthcare Partners, and 97.66% for Healthcare Quality Partners. These quality scores are based on performance measures ranging from preventive health checks to use of computerized health records to preventing avoidable hospitalizations.
In terms of savings, each of the ACOs was able to save Medicare enough money to result in a shared saving with the ACOs. For the Atlantic ACO, $9,463,053 of gross savings to Medicare resulted in a shared savings payment of $4,598,452 to the Atlantic ACO.
Optimus Healthcare Partners, an ACO that has saved Medicare money every year in the program since 2012, had $10,885,348 in gross savings to Medicare, resulting in a shared savings payment of $4,217,740 to the ACO. Healthcare Quality Partners’ gross savings to Medicare of $8,205,345 resulted in a shared savings payment of $4,006,516 to the ACO.
The shared savings payments will be used to continue to support ACO provider participants in providing value-based care and reinvest in care management personnel and technologies.
Scott Maron, MD, President of Optimus Healthcare Partners, noted that providers actively reach out to Medicare beneficiaries to encourage them to take advantage of annual wellness visits, including recommended screenings and preventive care. The ACO also focuses on ensuring smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home or a skilled nursing facility if needed. All ACO providers receive detailed information about their performance on quality measures. Clinicians and providers share best practices to coordinate the care their beneficiaries receive from different primary care and specialty providers, to prevent health issues and repeat hospitalizations. Optimus Healthcare Partners includes independent providers who serve northern and central NJ. To date, the Atlantic Health System affiliated ACOs have conducted more than 300 weekly webinars with participating providers on a variety of population health topics.
“The expertise of our physicians and caregivers within the ACOs has been the driving force behind so many of our achievements in quality and a key contributing factor to the exemplary care we provide to our community,” said Brian Gragnolati, president and CEO of Atlantic Health System. “As we continue to embrace the principles of value-based care, their meticulous care and concern for our patients will be ever more important.”
A market-based solution to fragmented and costly care, ACOs were created nearly a decade ago to empower local physicians, hospitals and other providers to work together and take responsibility for improving quality, enhancing patient experience and keeping care affordable. The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) creates incentives for ACOs to invest in transforming care by allowing them to share in savings they generate after meeting defined quality and cost goals.
“The Medicare ACO shared savings program is the largest value-based payment model in the country and a critical tool in moving the health system toward better value,” said Dr. Kloos, who is also past chair of the board of directors for the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS).
A fact sheet with more information about MSSP ACOs is available online, along with other resources—What is an ACO?—and the ABCs of ACOs.
About Atlantic Health System
Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, setting standards for quality health care in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New York metropolitan area. Powered by a workforce of more than 18,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The not-for-profit system offers more than 400 sites of care, including seven hospitals: Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, NJ, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, Newton Medical Center in Newton NJ, Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains, NJ, Hackettstown Medical Center in Hackettstown, NJ, Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, NJ, and Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute in Madison, NJ.
Atlantic Medical Group, comprised of 1,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, represents one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey and joins Atlantic Accountable Care Organization and Optimus Healthcare Partners as part of Atlantic Alliance, a Clinically Integrated Network of more than 2,500 health care providers throughout northern and central NJ.
Atlantic Health System provides care for the full continuum of health care needs through 16 urgent care centers, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere Virtual Visits. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.
Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium – Partners in Innovation, Education, and Research – a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.
Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.