The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the quality reports for the 220 accountable care organizations (ACO) nationwide that have participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) starting in 2012 and 2013. Four of the six participating ACOs in North Carolina ranked in the top 15 percent in quality of care for their patients. The North Carolina General Assembly has been considering the merits of the accountable care model to reform the state’s Medicaid system. The issue no doubt will be a topic of hot debate when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Coastal Carolina Quality Care in New Bern, Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, Wilmington Health and Triad HealthCare Network in Greensboro all placed in the top 30 ACOs overall out of the 220 nationwide reporting during this period.
Each ACO in this Medicare program reported data on 33 measures of quality for the patients they saw. These individual measures included information on such things as whether patients could easily get an appointment with their doctor; whether they received necessary immunizations or screening tests like mammography; whether the practice tried to help them stop smoking or lose weight; whether diabetic patients’ blood sugar was under control. Each measure was then grouped into four broad categories: patient satisfaction, care coordination/patient safety, preventative health and treating at-risk groups like those with diabetes or heart disease.
Coastal Carolina Quality Care was third in the nation on its overall ranking and second in care coordination. Wilmington Health was 23rd overall, Cornerstone was 25th and Triad Healthcare 30th out of the 220 reporting ACOs.
“This latest information shows that the ACO model is not only taking root in North Carolina, it is doing well. This is great news for the people of our state who have access to this innovative and quality-based brand of medical practice,” said Robert W. Seligson, CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society.