As MissionPoint ACO Turns One, Membership Up, Costs Down

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , March 6, 2013

'Bear Hugs' for Sickest Members
Dinger offers some lessons learned after a year of running the only ACO in the midstate. He says there are basically three levels of intervention:

  • Chronic, complex, medical cases
  • Employees who are regular users, but may need help identifying appropriate prevention strategies
  • Wellness

The sickest members get what Dinger calls a "big bear hug"—home visits, call center support, and regular engagement based on their daily healthcare needs. This is the group that's seen the most dramatic improvement, according to Dinger.

"The results that we've seen in year one are largely from that first intervention, providing services to people who are managing really complicated illnesses and working with them to reduce their own costs and improve their outcomes," says Dinger.

Is the 12% cost reduction Dinger says MissionPoint accomplished in its first year bending the cost curve enough to silence, or at least hush (they are Tennesseans, after all) the detractors of ACOs? It's unlikely, but first steps are always clumsy.

Happy first birthday, MissionPoint.

Jacqueline Fellows is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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