Partners HealthCare slows cost growth, improves quality

Partners HealthCare, one of just 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the nation, has successfully lowered health care cost growth among approximately 52,000 Medicare patients, according to new federal data.  The Pioneer ACO initiative, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, aims to transform the way that health care is delivered by providing Medicare patients with higher quality, while slowing cost growth through enhanced care coordination.

During the first year of the initiative, Partners HealthCare was successful in slowing the rate of cost growth by approximately 3% as compared with the reference trend that Medicare used to measure Partners’ performance. This translates into approximately $14.4 million in shared savings that Partners will receive from Medicare. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, these savings are shared equally between the federal government and Partners.

Even more importantly, the data shows that Partners delivered extremely high quality care to Medicare patients at the same time that these savings were achieved. Partners exceeded national averages in virtually every quality indicator that the federal government tracked and maintained an extremely low rate of mortality.

“As health care evolves in this country, we have an obligation to ensure that we deliver the best value possible to our patients and their families,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare.  “These results show that it is possible to slow health care cost growth, while delivering high quality care.  We are confident that this Pioneer ACO initiative can provide a blueprint for the rest of the nation to follow.”

The Pioneer ACO Model is designed to encourage the development of accountable care organizations, which are groups of doctors and other health care providers who work together to provide high quality care for their patients. Partners was chosen specifically as one in a diverse group of leading-edge health care organizations from around the country to test the effectiveness of several new models of payment.

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