JAMESTOWN - Chautauqua Region Associated Medical Partners (AMP) announced recently it has been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) Accountable Care Organization (ACO), a multifaceted new program sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Through the Shared Savings Program, AMP will work with CMS to provide Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with high quality service and care, while reducing the growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination.
AMP is one of the 89 new ACOs announced by CMS) announced recently, which serving 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states and Washington, D.C. ACOs are organizations formed by groups of doctors and other health care providers that have agreed to work together to coordinate care for people with Medicare.
These 89 new ACOs have entered into agreements with CMS, taking responsibility for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through high-quality, well-coordinated care.
"Better coordinated care is good for patients and it saves money," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "We applaud every one of these doctors, hospitals, health centers and others for working together to ensure millions of people with Medicare get better, more patient-centered, coordinated care."
Participation in an ACO is purely voluntary for providers. The Shared Savings Program, and other initiatives related to Accountable Care Organizations, is made possible by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Federal savings from this initiative could be up to $940 million over four years.
"This new group of ACOs adds to a solid foundation," CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said. "The Medicare ACO program opened for business in January, and already, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in these important initiatives."
The 89 ACOs bring the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 154, including the 32 ACOs participating in the testing of the Pioneer ACO Model by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) that were announced last December, and six Physician Group Practice Transition Demonstration organizations that started in January. In all, as of July 1, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives.
The selected ACOs operate in a wide range of areas of the country and almost half are physician-driven organizations serving fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries, demonstrating that smaller organizations are interested in operating as ACOs. Their models for coordinating care and improving quality vary in response to the needs of the beneficiaries in the areas they are serving.
To ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely, an ACO must meet quality standards. For 2012, CMS has established 33 quality measures relating to care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care.