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Integrating Data and Analytics into Provider Workflow Improves ACO Performance

Reimbursement rates for an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) are based on the quality composite score from the Physician Quality Reporting System Group Practice Reporting Option, examining best practice preventative care and primary care measures. As a result, ACO participants may receive payment adjustments based on their quality composite performance.

U.S. Medical Management (USMM), a leading provider of home-based primary care services for complex patient populations and managed care clients, also operates a multi-state Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO serving over 23,000 complex or fragile Medicare patients. USMM needed to support its providers in meeting their patients’ necessities, while also ensuring they were providing and documenting appropriate best practice preventative and primary care ACO measures.

USMM turned to its analytics platform and analytics applications, implementing the Community Care Advanced Application to aid its efforts. The analytics platform integrates data from the organization’s EMR, billing system, and external claims data, bringing cross-organizational data into focus and delivering specific, actionable interventions needed to improve performance.

After implementing Community Care, USMM achieved a 90th percentile performance for:

  • Tobacco screening and cessation plan.
  • Clinical depression screening and follow-up plan.

The organization also earned an 80th percentile performance for:

  • Influenza immunization.
  • High blood pressure screening and follow-up plan.
  • Screening for future fall risk.
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Improving Accuracy of Clinical Documentation Positively Impacts Risk Adjustment Factor and HCC Coding

The Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) risk adjustment model is used by CMS to estimate predicted costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and the results directly impact the reimbursement healthcare organizations receive for patients enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. CMS requires that all qualifying conditions be identified each year by provider organizations. Documentation that is linked to a non-specific diagnosis, as well as incomplete documentation, negatively affects reimbursement.

Allina Health, a not-for-profit integrated healthcare delivery system serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin, needed to improve its HCC coding and clinical documentation in order to ensure the correct risk adjustment factor (RAF) was applied to its patients, since failing to do so would jeopardize its reimbursement and result in lower than expected compensation. After identifying opportunities for improvement by comparing its HCC risk adjustment coding data to other organizations and vendor metrics, Allina Health improved clinical documentation precision, medical diagnoses accuracy, and ensured eligible patients are seen each calendar year.

Results:

  • 10 percent increase in RAF for the target population in one year.
  • 72 percent relative improvement in four key problem list diagnoses.
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Unleashing the Data to Sustain Spine Service Line Improvements

Research shows that despite an increase in the number of improvements in clinical, cost, and operational outcomes, there is a lack of sustained improvements. Some of the key challenges can be access to the data and analytics, and adherence to data-driven clinical standards, things the Allina Health Spine Clinical Service Line (CSL) clinical leadership team experienced.

By providing widespread access to the data and analytics, the Spine CSL at Allina Health has been able to continue its reduction in LOS and further improve its reduction in complications, all while increasing cost savings and achieving pay-for-performance incentives.

Results:

  • $1 million in pay-for-performance incentives received.
  • More than $2 million in supply chain savings, a result of data-driven clinical standardization.
  • 31 percent of expected complications avoided.
  • 22 percent relative reduction in surgical site infections.
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Integrated Care Management—Improves Care and Population Health While Reducing Costs

One hundred thirty-three million Americans, 45 percent of the population, have at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, killing more than 1.7 million Americans annually. Moreover, chronic disease accounts for 86 percent of our nation’s healthcare costs.

An integrated delivery system and an accountable care organization with two large academic medical centers and six community hospitals, Partners HealthCare is increasingly compensated for outcomes of care. Recognizing the need to more effectively manage its chronically ill patients, Partners implemented an integrated care management program (iCMP) to improve the outcomes of rising-risk patients and better manage treatment costs. The iCMP is a primary-care embedded, longitudinal care management program led by a nurse care manager working collaboratively with the primary care provider and care team.

The iCMP is contributing to Partners effective management of patients and financial success in at-risk contracts. In its Pilot Phase as a Medicare Demonstration Project, the program achieved the following results:

  • 20 percent lower hospitalization rate per 1,000 patients.
  • 13 percent lower rates of emergency department (ED) utilization.
  • 25 percent relative difference in mortality.
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Care Management: A Critical Component of Effective Population Health Management

Unprecedented changes in the healthcare payment system have resulted in health organizations across the country investing in the pursuit of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) Triple Aim to improve population health, improve patient experience and outcomes, and reduce costs per capita. Health organizations must develop effective population health management strategies, and they need the right data and analytics to inform their initiatives.

Once armed with the information to make data-driven decisions, leading healthcare providers are implementing care management programs, which have proven to be helpful mechanisms for achieving the Triple Aim. Many healthcare organizations have identified specific patient cohorts to monitor the impact of care management interventions on individual and population health outcomes.

Data-driven care management programs that target high-risk and rising-risk patients can achieve impressive results, including:

  • Up to 20 percent lower rates of hospitalization in mature care management programs.
  • Lower rates of emergency department utilization.
  • Decreased costs.
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40,000 Covered Lives: Improving Performance on ACO MSSP Metrics

The U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, but data consistently shows the U.S. underperforming relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) accountable care organization (ACO) model is aimed at addressing that issue by offering financial incentives for providers to improve the health of populations and reduce costs through greater efficiencies and a focus on preventive care.

Mission Health formed a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACO called Mission Health Partners (MHP), which is responsible for 40,000 patient lives. MHP knew that its manual approach to data collection and reporting would not be sufficient for the required ACO quality metrics. By leveraging a previously implemented enterprise data warehouse platform and implementing an ACO MSSP analytics application, MHP was able to automate the processes of data-gathering and analysis and align the data with ACO quality reporting measures. The visibility and transparency of near real-time, online performance data coupled with focused process improvement has resulted in subsequent improvement in all 33 of the ACO performance metrics. Specifically, improvements have included:

  • 9.6 percent increase in compliance over all reported ACO metrics, with 23,000 more patients receiving recommended treatment or screenings.
  • 98.9 percent of eligible patients received screenings for clinical depression and follow up.
  • 40 percent increase in number of patients receiving any cancer screening; 46 percent improvement in the number of patients receiving colorectal cancer screening.
  • 456 percent increase in the number of patients getting fall risk screening.
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How Partners HealthCare is Managing Costs in the Emerging At-Risk Environment

In order to thrive in an ever-increasing risk-based contracting environment, accountable care organizations like Partners HealthCare need to deliver high-quality, safe care with minimal risk. Integrated data that reveals cost reduction and care improvement opportunities are necessary to be successful in a risk-based environment, and has historically been fragmented and limited in interoperability in healthcare organizations. To merge, house, and analyze the necessary financial, operational, and clinical data required for risk-based contracting, Partners deployed a late-binding enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and population health management analytics. The EDW and analytics applications are making information accessible to managers as soon as it is released, along with enhanced visualizations that enable data-driven insights. In addition, the analytics application is helping to drive physician awareness and engagement in understanding and managing cost trends.

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How Partners HealthCare is Leveraging Episode-Based Data to Improve Care Delivery

U.S. healthcare is shifting from procedure and visit approaches to a longitudinal view of patient care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting this change with their “Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative.” Under the initiative, healthcare organizations enter into payments arrangements with financial and performance accountability for 48 episodes of care. This requires health organizations to integrate data from a combination of sources in order to identify the bundles with the highest costs and the sources of variation. Learn how Partners HealthCare, an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System and ACO, successfully integrated hospital, provider, and claims information for the first time—and how they can now easily evaluate and compare clinical and financial performance for the 48 CMS episodes of care.

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Managing Half a Million Risk-Contracted Lives: Partners HealthCare Population Health Strategy

Population health management in a value-based model requires reengineering care delivery to provide higher quality of care at a lower cost. To address this challenge, organizations need to take a system-wide, strategic approach to defining their structures and processes. Learn how Partners Healthcare, an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System and ACO, developed and successfully implemented a strategic framework —guided by strong leadership and meticulous change management—for managing its half a million risk-contracted lives. The framework enables collaboration and aligns providers across the care continuum, using a unified set of performance targets for all contracts. The framework includes a robust analytics system that provides metrics to deliver the best patient care, while meeting the disparate requirements of multiple external contracts. Partners Healthcare has developed an internal performance framework that can serve as a population health management model for health systems throughout the United States.

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Improving Healthcare Performance through Analytics and Cultural Transformation: One Healthcare Organization’s Journey

OSF HealthCare, a pioneer accountable care organization (ACO), was looking to deliver superior clinical outcomes, improve the patient experience, and enhance the affordability and sustainability of its services. OSF’s leaders recognized that to effectively achieve these goals, they needed to reinvent the organization’s performance improvement measurement and reporting system. In addition to deploying new analytics technology, OSF knew they needed to drive a cultural shift throughout the organization to embrace a data-empowered system. By engaging leadership, aligning the initiative with business strategies, and building data-driven clinical and operational improvement teams, OSF was able to save $9-12 million over three years—through both process improvement and cost avoidance. OSF also drove clinical performance improvements in key areas including heart failure and palliative care.

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How an ACO Provides and Arranges for the Best Patient Care Using Clinical and Operational Analytics

Crystal Run Healthcare—a physician-led Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and one of the first ACOs to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program—is experiencing the long-anticipated shift toward more value-based reimbursement.  To ensure financial stability as they assume more risk, Crystal Run is implementing a strategy focused on rapid growth and aligning physician reimbursement with favorable patient outcomes. To effectively execute on this strategy they knew they needed to become more data-driven.  Learn how this ACO is using advanced analytics to execute on their population management and growth strategies with a focus on continuous improvement in the following areas: 1) Ensuring patient care aligns with evidence based practices, 2) reducing clinical variation, 3) enhancing operational efficiency, analyzing data from a “single source of truth” integrated from their EMR, billing, costing, patient satisfaction and other operational system, and 5) making “self-service analytics” available to decision-makers to decrease time to decision.

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Quality Improvement in Healthcare: An ACO Palliative Care Case Study

Quality improvement in healthcare is essential for healthcare organizations as they transition to value-based care. Including palliative care in the planning and implementation of value-based care initiatives is more important than ever—especially for accountable care organizations (ACOs). This case study reviews the OSF Healthcare community-wide palliative care program and examines their key results: a) completion of 4300 advance care plans and engagement of more than 980 physician and community facilitators; b) leveraged a healthcare enterprise data warehouse (EDW) in a heterogeneous EHR environment; c) enabled data transparency at all levels through reporting and visualizations.

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