Efforts by South Bend-based Beacon Health System to improve care delivery for more than 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana and southwest Michigan in 2020 has led to more than $6 million in Medicare savings.
This is according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which reported CHA Accountable Care Organization LLC, operated by Beacon Health System, met quality and cost goals set by the government for participants in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. CHA ACO saved Medicare $6.4 million, earning the South Bend-based organization $4.6 million in a shared savings bonus.
Some of funds the health system will get back from the government will be reinvested in new technologies and ongoing care coordination efforts, Beacon Health System said.
“When providers work together through an ACO to focus on patients and invest in care coordination, they can increase quality and reduce costs,” said Diane Maas, chief strategy and digital growth officer at Beacon Health. “ACOs like ours are measurably improving care and saving money while maintaining patient choice of Medicare providers.”
CHA ACO improved on its quality goal, achieving a quality score of 96.87% on performance measures ranging from preventive health checks to use of computerized health records to preventing avoidable hospitalizations. Clinicians and providers share best practices to coordinate the care beneficiaries receive from different primary care and specialty providers and to prevent health issues and repeat hospitalizations.
Maas said CHA ACO also focuses on ensuring smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home, or to a nursing home, if needed.
In 2020, CHA ACO included Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Elkhart General Hospital, Community Hospital of Bremen, Beacon Medical Group and many hospital-based providers who serve Indiana and southwest Michigan. CHA ACO joined the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2014.
“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,” Maas said. “This is seventh year Beacon Health System has participated in the program and the second consecutive year it has received shared savings.”