Newswise — CLEVELAND – University Hospitals Coordinated Care Organization (UHCCO), the hospital’s Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO), improved quality of care for more than 54,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Northeastern Ohio while reducing their total cost of care in 2019. In turn, UHCCO saved Medicare over $20 million by meeting quality and cost goals, according to recently released performance data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). University Hospitals (UH) received a quality score of 97.4 percent for the 2019 performance year, and will receive $9.1 million in shared savings from CMS.
“This transformation was a result of providing excellent coordinated care to Medicare beneficiaries that would not have been possible without our providers’ strong commitment to preventative care measures, the addition of various technological improvements, and the expertise and growth of our UH staff,” said Mark Schario, President of UHCCO. “Our organization continues to focus on the strategy and framework of eliminating defects in value, a critical component in achieving the triple aim.”
A cultural change within the organization shifted the focus of care towards population health and the importance of keeping patients healthy at home, rather than healing in a hospital; a new narrative passionately adopted by UH upon the arrival of Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Dr. Peter Pronovost. “When providers work together and make concerted efforts to focus on patients and invest in care coordination, information technology and other care improvements, they can both increase quality and reduce costs,” said Dr. George Topalsky, President, UH Medical Practices, Vice President of UH Primary Care Institute and Medical Director of UHCCO.
UH reported improvements through IT collaboration and the addition of new technologies that allowed the process to shift from a manual operation to a partially automated one. This technology advancement supported staff in a more thorough, streamlined reporting process for the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2019.
Finally, an increase in staff to support UHCCO has subsequently increased capabilities, talent, and expertise. The team of patient navigators, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dieticians, data scientists and analysts, quality and regulatory specialists, and practice transformation facilitators have all contributed to providing quality care to UH’s patient population.
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.
A fact sheet with more information about MSSP ACOs is available online, along with other resources — What is an ACO? — and the ABCs of ACOs.
About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees. Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.