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U-M's Care Strategies Save Medicare $22 Million, Demonstrate ACO Benefits

Improving preventive and chronic care helped the University of Michigan (U-M) to save Medicare more than $22 million during a five-year demonstration project.

The project, Medicare’s Physician Group Practice Demonstration (PGPD), was designed to show the potential benefits of ACOs. During its involvement with the program, U-M launched a number of new programs aimed to improve care coordination and care transitions for comorbid patients. These programs included a new transitional care program assisting patients with hospital discharge information and follow-up activity, complex care coordination programs designed to reduce unnecessary treatments, readmissions, handoffs and wait times, and medical home programs.

In the fifth year, U-M saved more than $5.4 million by reducing costs to Medicare through quality improvement strategies and redesigning care. U-M also scored a 98 percent grade on quality measures that were part of the project. U-M was one of only two groups to create savings every year of the program.

Many of the programs and innovations that U-M put in place for this project involved not only physicians but also pharmacists, nurses, social workers, care managers and others who are involved in the care of Medicare patients at all U-M facilities.

Ten different groups participated in the project. Of those only two — the University of Michigan and the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin — earned savings during all five years of the demonstration project. U-M, along with the other nine groups in this demonstration, began participating in another similar project in January. Known as the PGP Transitions Demonstration, this project will continue to inform Medicare leadership about important components of ACO policy.


Source: University of Michigan Health System, August 8, 2011

Blueprint for ACO Success: Clinical, Quality and Compliance Considerations for an Accountable Care Organization

This 40-page resource will prepare healthcare organizations considering an ACO for clinical and regulatory success. Areas covered include anticipating the mandates of the CMS Shared Savings program; achieving and maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations governing healthcare while positioning for possible changes; developing a multi-disciplinary compliance approach; and creating policies and procedures for ongoing compliance monitoring.

Blueprint for ACO Success: Clinical, Quality and Compliance Considerations for an Accountable Care Organization is available from the Healthcare Intelligence Network for $149 by visiting our Online Bookstore or by calling toll-free (888) 446-3530.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.

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