Efforts by Beacon Health System to improve care contributed to $3.5 million in Medicare savings.
The CHA Accountable Care Organization (ACO) LLC, operated by Beacon Health, improved care for nearly 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana and southwest Michigan in 2021, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
As part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, accountable care organizations, which meet quality and cost goals are authorized to receive a portion of the savings produced for Medicare beneficiaries. CHA ACO saved Medicare $3.5 million, earning the South Bend-based ACO $2.6 million in a shared savings bonus.
Some of these savings will be reinvested in new technologies and ongoing care coordination efforts, system officials said.
“Since joining the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2014, we have had a relentless focus on working together with the providers to focus on patient care to 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.”
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 2021, 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 initially joined the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2014 and has saved Medicare more than $20 million since becoming part of the initiative.
“The Medicare ACO Shared Savings Program is the largest value-based payment model in the country and is a critical tool in moving the health system toward better value,” Maas said. “This is eighth year Beacon Health System has participated in the program and the third consecutive year it has received shared savings.”