When one of the largest integrated healthcare systems in the country issues a stamp of success on a pilot project, it's a good idea to pay attention, especially if that success is rooted in one of the health models that leaders are counting on to transition from volume to value.
The accountable care organization as a model of care has its supporters and detractors. It's supposed accomplish the triple aim of healthcare, but the results from Medicare's 2012 Pioneer ACO program are mixed.
On one hand, nine out of the original 32 ACOs shared in savings; 19 reported no savings or losses. On the other hand, nine ACOS left the program. Two departed completely while seven transitioned to the similar, but less-stringent Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO arrangement.
CHI was not part of the Medicare Pioneer ACO group, but rolled out its own ACO pilot in three markets in 2010 anyway to test how well it was prepared for population health. The health system has since enrolled five of its six of its organizations into the MSSP ACO program, but early lessons from its own pilot are helping population health efforts for other patients now.
During its pilot project, CHI focused its efforts on coordinating care and payment for Medicare patients with one of four chronic diseases: coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia.