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Atrius Health’s Next Generation Accountable Care Organization Saves Medicare $19.9 million in first year of participation

Results announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also found strong performance in clinical quality and patient experience

Atrius Health announced today that its Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) has achieved strong clinical quality and patient experience scores from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and saved CMS $19.9 million. Atrius Health’s practices, including Medicare beneficiaries who received most of their primary care at Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical Group, or Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, achieved savings for Medicare in their first reporting year of participation in the Next Generation ACO Model based on 2017 results recently released by CMS. These results demonstrate the organization’s continued success in achieving the Triple Aim of improving health outcomes and patient experience as well as reducing the total cost of care.

CMS chose 29 total measures to represent patient/caregiver experience, care coordination and patient safety, preventive health, and care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and/or ischemic vascular disease. When compared with other Next Generation ACO participants, Atrius Health scored above the mean on 20 of 29 measures. Atrius Health was particularly proud to score well above the mean Next Generation ACO performance in diabetes management, screening for future falls risk, ischemic vascular disease and the use of aspirin or other antithrombotics, pneumonia vaccination status for older adults and preventive care and screening for clinical depression and follow-up plans.

“Our longstanding relationships with patients are the driving force behind our mission to innovate and improve the quality, cost and experience of care,” said Steven Strongwater, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atrius Health. “We are proud that our first year participating in the Next Generation ACO Model reflects an exceptional and cost-effective care experience due to the hard work of our compassionate and outstanding clinicians. Most of all, we are grateful for the wonderful feedback from our patients who entrust us with their care.”

“By collaborating with our patients, leveraging analytics and technology and working together as a team of providers to improve quality and access to care, we can continue to build on our successes to provide the right care to the people and communities we serve,” said Joe Kimura, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Atrius Health. “We are proud to help our patients lead happier and healthier lives through our decades-long philosophy of embracing value-based care and look forward to continuing this work.”

After five years of steady improvement in savings to Medicare as one of the 32 original Pioneer ACOs, Atrius Health built upon its progress as a first-year Next Generation ACO. For the over 29,000 Medicare beneficiaries aligned to the Atrius Health Next Generation ACO in 2017, Atrius Health saved Medicare $19.9 million compared to its target, returning $15 million in savings to the organization.

The organization’s strong historical performance is due in large part to decreasing unnecessary hospital admissions and helping people recover safely at home. In 2016, Atrius Health was the highest quality scoring Pioneer ACO nationally for its final year of participation in the model. Atrius Health applies its savings to investments in care coordination, training, data analytics, information technology, and other resources serving its Medicare beneficiaries and other patients.

“We are proud to have applied our learnings from the Pioneer ACO Model to our first year as a Next Generation ACO, keeping with CMS’s original vision to improve care for seniors through programs that achieve high quality with expense reduction,” added Dr. Strongwater. “I am thrilled to congratulate the many clinicians and staff in our organization whose dedication to patients made this possible.” 

About Atrius Health
Atrius Health, an innovative nonprofit healthcare leader, delivers an effective system of connected care for more than 720,000 adult and pediatric patients in eastern and central Massachusetts. Atrius Health’s 32 medical practices, with more than 50 specialties and 825 physicians, work together with the home health and hospice services of its VNA Care subsidiary and in close collaboration with hospital partners, community specialists and skilled nursing facilities. Atrius Health provides high-quality, patient-centered, coordinated care to every patient it serves. Establishing a solid foundation of knowledge, understanding and trust with each of its patients, Atrius Health enhances their health and enriches their lives.