Accountable Care Gaining Momentum in North Carolina
April 13th, 2012 by Kristin Freeman
The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) congratulates Coastal Carolina Quality Care, Inc. (CCQC), Accountable Care Coalition of Caldwell County, LLC, and Accountable Care Coalition of Eastern North Carolina, LLC, who were recently selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) beginning April 1. ACOs are intended to improve quality and coordination of care for Medicare patients while reducing the growth in Medicare expenditures. To date, a total of 27 Shared Savings Program ACOs will serve about 375,000 patients in 18 states.
The selection stemmed from a process that began last year with the national release of the Medicare Shared Savings Program application. The selected ACOs will work closely with patients to assist with navigating the health care system while encouraging more collaborative care and savings.
Cigna, as a private health care insurer, is also expanding its collaborative accountable care program by adding 10 new initiatives with physician groups in seven states, including North Carolina’s Cornerstone Health Care and Key Physicians (Key IPA). According to a statement released by Cigna, the company is on track to reach its goal of implementing 100 accountable care programs for 1 million customers by 2014. The program’s focus is to expand patient access to health care, improve care coordination and achieve improvements in quality, affordability and patient satisfaction. To learn more about Cigna’s accountable care efforts, click here.
The movement toward accountable care is gaining momentum. Physician involvement and understanding of accountable care, whether it is through the public or private sector, is crucial. The NCMS Accountable Care Task Force, chaired by Steve Wegner, MD, is leading efforts to implement new models of care. For more information about accountable care and the Task Force’s activities, click here.