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Indiana health system selected to serve as test model ACO
e-Reports, Jan. 9, 2012
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a list of 32 organizations in 18 states to serve as Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in partnership with Medicare.

St. FrancisAmong those named is Franciscan Alliance in Indianapolis and Central Indiana, the only participant from our state among 80 applicants nationwide.

The Pioneer ACO model is designed to encourage development of patient-centered, team-based care, with health care providers delivering coordinated, high-quality care for their patients. The initiative will test the effectiveness of several innovative payment models and how they can help experienced organizations provide better care for patients, coordinating with private payers and reducing Medicare cost growth.

Providers in this model must meet quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes, as well as care coordination among the caregiving team. Patients maintain the ability to seek care from any Medicare provider they choose since an ACO is not a health plan or managed care plan.

“More than 22,000 Medicare patients in Indianapolis and Central Indiana will be served initially by our ACO,” said Jennifer Westfall, Franciscan Alliance ACO executive director. “From an industry perspective, the ACO model encourages organizations such as hospitals, physician practices, and other health care providers to collaborate closely, thus bringing down the overall costs of medical care.”

Franciscan Alliance, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Midwest, has more than 3,300 affiliated physicians, both primary care and specialists, has 14 hospitals in Illinois and Indiana, and serves nearly 4 million people.

In addition to the Pioneer ACO, CMS offers its Shared Savings Program and an Advance Payment ACO. For more information on all of these, visit the CMS website.

Read more about Franciscan Alliance’s participation as a Pioneer ACO on their blog.

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