A new ACO and BCBS of Kansas will expand through a partnership which serves 23,000 in-state sufferers.
Aledade Inc. is a Bethseda, Md., private healthcare consulting organization that operates accountable care organizations (ACOs) throughout the United States of America. One of its latest additions, the Aledade Kansas ACO, inaugurated in the month of January to support independent primary-care practices.
ACOs, as explained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), contains health care providers that voluntarily group together to better coordinate patient care and subsequently improve healthcare and reduce costs. The Affordable Care Act was the genesis for the model’s adoption.
BCBS of Kansas, which already had begun providing value-based agreements to hospital-affiliated ACOs, will start offering similar incentives to Aledade Kansas ACO members, beginning on the day of Jan. 1.
“Moving into the value-based role is actually a direction most, if not all contributors are going to have to take,” stated Erin Patrick, ACO executive director for Aledade Kansas. “Over the past 9 months, we have worked diligently under a variety of initiatives. We have actually laid that groundwork, and now it is time to begin building a house.”
As ACOs gain a reputation for victory, more contributors and insurers are working out contracts to replicate the ACO model in the private insurance market.
“It is moving the provider reimbursement model away from a fee-for-service model and taking the measures toward a quality-over-quantity reimbursement system,” stated Mary Beth Chambers, corporate communications manager for BCBS of Kansas. “This truly assists because in Kansas there are so many solo- or two-practitioner offices in various of our smaller or more rural places.”
However, BCBS of Kansas has worked with a handful of hospital-affiliated ACOs statewide, the latest contract of new ACO and BCBS of Kansas with Aledade will support doctors in rural places. Aledade Kansas serves practices from Western Kansas towns such as Quinter to two family practices in Lawrence and one in Lansing.
Aledade Kansas plans to add 3 extra practices next year. The ACO facilitates one family practice in the Kansas City place but otherwise primarily works with rural doctors.
The Aledade Kansas ACO gives technical and regulatory direction to independent practices within the agency, involving face-to-face meetings with specialists who’ve a background in subjects ranging from nursing to information technology to health care administration. The company also gives a sufferer database to detect screenings and trends and to handle chronic conditions more efficiently.
Through the latest agreement of New ACO and BCBS of Kansas, BCBS will give Aledade Kansas additional information, which will be distributed to the individual practices as required.
In the long term, the aim is to decrease costs by ignoring unimportant duplication of tests, as well as assisting practices report metrics of success for value-based care.
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