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As MissionPoint ACO Turns One, Membership Up, Costs Down

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, March 6, 2013

Despite recent criticism that ACOs will not succeed because the behavior changes required of patients and doctors are "unrealistic," Tennessee-based MissionPoint Health Partners is moving the needle forward. 

MissionPoint Health Partners, an accountable care organization launched by Ascension Health's Saint Thomas Health System in Nashville just a year ago, is adding some health insurance heft to its operations. On Tuesday MissionPoint announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee will be joining the ACO in a four-year partnership aimed at self-insured employers.

That's just one indication that this ACO model is not only viable, but could be a lesson in how-to for other hospitals and systems considering plans to set up these new models of care.

Success Factors
In its first year, Jason Dinger, CEO of MissionPoint, says it surpassed membership goals. "We were hoping to manage 15,000 members; we're up to over 50,000 members in our ACO. We've seen considerable growth," says Dinger.

It also added new services, and expanded its telehealth component from one to 44 sites to capture the population residing in the rural area around metro Nashville.

And, Dinger says, the ACO has cut medical costs each year for its 15,000 original members by 12%.

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