NC ACO Council Members Focus on Innovation

At its meeting on Nov. 15 in Kernersville, the NC ACO Council, which is comprised of representatives of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and Next Gen ACOs in the state, gathered to explore and discuss the innovations and successes of a few specific organizations that are leading our state in providing comprehensive and cost effective care.

  • The ACO Council meeting kicked off with a look at the featured ACO for the meeting, Pinehurst Accountable Care Network (PACN), presented by Heidi Regan from Pinehurst Surgical and Melissa Kuhn from Pinehurst Medical. The PACN earned a quality score of 89 percent and generated a savings of $4.5 million for a total of $2.1 million in earned savings for performance year 2017.
  • Following the PACN presentation, Triad Healthcare Network’s Kelly Peck and Elissa Langley treated the ACO Council members to a PowerPoint demonstration of the radar lung vest innovation known as the ReDS System, which is being used at Cone Health. The ReDS System is a point-of-care device that measures the fluid in the lungs of heart failure patients. Review the presentation and watch a video of the device in action.
  • The North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) Director of Value-Based Health Care Kristen Spaduzzi provided a brief overview of the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) Advanced Medical Home (AMH) program. She encouraged ACO Council members to educate their ACO participants about the opportunities with the AMH program. View the NCMS’ one-page summary of this important program and read the top story in this NCMS Bulletin.
  • The final presentation was particularly enlightening as Tim Clontz, retired senior vice president of Cone Health, former Chair of NC PACE Association and Co-Founder of three PACE programs in the state and Brian Toomey, president and CEO of Piedmont Health Services, founder of Piedmont Health SeniorCare (PACE Program), and NC PACE Association Board member, spoke on the benefits of the PACE program (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). PACE is a fully capitated program that successfully provides health care and services to those 55 years and older who qualify for nursing care so they may live independently in their community.  Learn more about NC PACE.
  • The meeting closed with the Council’s traditional open forum, where ACO representatives have an opportunity to openly discuss challenges and concerns, share ideas and best practices. At this month’s meeting, the main topic of discussion was HCC coding and the complexity and confusion that often surrounds it. The discussion offered a perfect segue to announce the NCMS’ Feb. 19 webinar, which will be presented by CHESS’ Director of HCC Education, Barbara Lennon, and focus on HCC coding.  Watch this Bulletin and your email for more details on how to register for this webinar in the coming months.

The NC ACO Council meets in the second and fourth quarter each year and provides a forum for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ACOs in North Carolina to share experiences, opportunities and challenges. For questions about the NC ACO Council, please contact Kristen Spaduzzi at

The NC ACO Council is a subgroup of the larger NC Population Health Collaborative, which meets in the first and third quarters of the year, and brings together a broader group of stakeholders in the move to value-based care. The Collaborative’s meetings are open and all are welcome to attend. The upcoming meeting on Dec. 12 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh will focus on population health as it relates to the state’s Medicaid transformation and poverty. Learn more and register for this meeting. If you have questions or would like to be added to the mailing list for the NC Population Health Collaborative, please contact Danielle Snyder,



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