Coastal Carolina Ranks First in the Nation for Medicare ACO Quality Performance

Coastal Carolina Quality Care in New Bern ranked first in the nation for quality performance as a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in 2016. Coastal Carolina had an overall quality score of 96.19 percent, while Physicians Healthcare Collaborative, the ACO associated with Wilmington Health, ranked 15th nationally with an overall quality score of 90.82 percent.

Other North Carolina MSSP ACOs fared well with eight placing in the top 100 in the nation. The others after Coastal Carolina and Wilmington Health are:*

  • Pinehurst Accountable Care Network, ranked 22nd with an overall quality score of 90.26 percent.
  • Tar River Health Alliance in Rocky Mount, ranked 28th with a quality score of 89.73 percent.
  • Mission Health Partners in Asheville, ranked 35th with a quality score of 89.39 percent.
  • Cornerstone Health Enablement Strategic Solutions (CHESS) based in High Point, ranked 49th with a quality score of 88.72 percent.
  • CaroMont ACO based in Gastonia, ranked 73rd with a quality score of 87.77 percent.
  • Physician Quality Partners, associated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center, ranked 81st with a quality score of 87.3.

In the MSSP, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) measure quality using 34 key metrics in four main areas – patient/caregiver experience, care coordination/patient safety, clinical care for at-risk populations and preventive health.

Coastal Carolina achieved particularly high marks in patient/caregiver experience and in health screenings in areas such as tobacco use and breast cancer.

Tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 16), the NC ACO Council, which brings together representatives of the state’s ACOs participating in the MSSP to discuss best practices and challenges they face, will meet at the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) Center for Leadership in Medicine. The NCMS has been a steadfast supporter of the move to value-based care and has helped nurture the ACO community in the state through this Council, the NC Population Health Collaborative and by providing resources like the extensive series of Toward Accountable Care Toolkits.

At the Council meeting tomorrow, there will be much to celebrate with Coastal Carolina’s quality ranking and Triad Healthcare Network’s shared savings as a Next Generation ACO as reported in the last NCMS Bulletin. A recent report from the Health Care Transformation Task Force revealed that overall ACOs cut gross Medicare spending by $836 million last year, including $70.6 million in net savings returned to the Medicare Trust Fund.

Watch for an upcoming NCMS Spotlight video in which Coastal Carolina’s CEO Stephen Nuckolls discusses participation in the MSSP and Coastal Carolina’s success in achieving the quality benchmarks.

*The quality scores quoted here were calculated based on the data located at and is based on quality attainment, and therefore, excludes quality improvement points and the full credit that was given to new participants and existing participants for new measures.


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