The new ACO will focus on delivering patient-centered care; offering better patient experiences through coordination and teamwork; providing extended business hours for primary care visits; utilizing patient care advocates to help patients navigate their medical care; and lowering the cost of health care through efficiencies and preventive care efforts.
Key Physicians, which is made up of more than 225 primary care physicians operating independent practices, and BCBSNC will strive to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency room visits through this collaboration. They also will share data among the BCBSNC network to improve patient outcomes at a lower cost. Earlier this year, Key Physicians became one of several groups within seven states to participate in Cigna’s accountable care program. In addition, BCBSNC most recently collaborated with Wilmington Health to form an ACO.
As accountable care efforts gain momentum in North Carolina and across the country, physicians are encouraged to understand and become involved in these initiatives. The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) recently launched the Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative (TAC) to assist the medical community prepare for and implement value-driven health care. This week, the NCMS publicized the “Physician Involvement in ACOs – The Time is Now” introductory article to the Initiative. The article, prepared by Smith Anderson law firm, provides an overview and highlights the key elements of accountable care. Look to future issues of the Bulletin or visit www.ncmedsoc.org/ac for more information about the Society’s accountable care efforts.