Governor Pat McCrory and NC Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Aldona Wos visited Wilmington Health earlier this month to speak to doctors and staff at this accountable care organization’s (ACO) headquarters. The Secretary and Governor have been reaching out to ACOs across the state to bolster their Medicaid reform proposal that supports physician-led, value-based models of care like that offered by ACOs.
Wilmington Health CEO Jeff James told the dignitaries that his organization of 147 physicians has made great progress in measures such as quality of care, patient satisfaction and cost savings. These three objectives, referred to as “the triple aim,” are the ultimate goal of every ACO, however, although how each organization achieves them may vary from location to location.
James and the doctors who met with the Governor and Secretary agreed that comprehensive data mining and gaining the buy-in of the doctors in a practice are keys to success.
Longtime North Carolina Medical Society member and co-chair of the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Physician Advisory Board, Philip Brown, MD, a vascular surgeon at Wilmington Health, told the local media that he and his colleagues had an “outstanding” discussion with McCrory and Wos. He noted the recent passage by the NC House of a Medicaid reform measure that aligns with the ACO approach that Wilmington Health and the NCMS supports.
“We have proven through our Medicare work that it can be done: to increase quality of care at lower cost,” he said. “Over time, you learn and you get better and better. It’s high time that we have better-performing practices and do what needs to be done for Medicaid.”