New Opportunity for Independent Primary Care Practices in NC

This week, Aledade, Inc., an organization that partners with primary care physicians to build and lead Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), joined with North Carolina-based Emtiro Health, LLC, to work together to support independent physician practices in a new, physician-led ACO. The new ACO will launch in January 2019.

In the new partnership, Emtiro Health will assist by providing direct support to the practices through care coordination and management. They also will help the participating practices develop systems and work flows to ensure success and that the practice will reap the benefits of participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

Aledade is actively recruiting practices for the ACO throughout the state. They offer expertise in the move to a value-based payment model that allows physicians to remain independent by focusing on preventive care, care coordination, population health management and analysis of patient claims and electronic health record data to identify patients who need help before serious medical needs arise.  Aledade is also exploring partnerships with other payers, as they have in other markets.

“Running an independent primary care practice today brings with it a range of financial and operational challenges,” said Karen Smith, MD, a North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member and family physician in Raeford, NC. “I believe that transitioning to value-based care will help my practice remain independent while I continue providing the high quality, personalized care my patients deserve. I know my practice needs a partner to take our journey in value-based care to the next level. That’s why I’ve chosen to partner with Aledade to help us navigate toward better care at lower cost. Aledade offers us the technology, tools and support we need to succeed, allowing us- the physicians- to focus on quarterbacking our patients’ care.”

Dr. Smith went on to highlight that Aledade offers enhanced technology to promote movement toward true interoperability.  “To have a competent organization like Aledade to support our practice at a very reasonable cost makes a huge difference,” she said.

NCMS Board member, Art Apolinario’s, MD, practice Clinton Medical Group, also recently signed on with Aledade.

“We are excited to be in the search for like-minded, independent practices that want to improve access to value-based care, while remaining independent,” Dr. Apolinario said. “Independent primary care practices can be nimble, creative and community focused in continuing to provide high quality care in a value-based setting. Aledade”s informatics expertise, and expertise in ACO’s, makes them a welcome partner in our future care strategies.”

If you would like more information about Aledade, please contact Angela Diaz at

The Aledade ACO provides an excellent opportunity for independent primary care practices that see Medicare patients to join together with other similarly situated practices and receive outstanding support from Aledade and Emtiro to successfully navigate the rapidly changing health care landscape,” said Melanie Phelps, NCMS Senior VP for Health System Innovation and Deputy General Counsel. “As Medicaid and commercial payers in NC increase their emphasis on value-based arrangements, now is the time to connect with a partner that has an excellent track record, technology platform and understanding of value-based arrangement.”

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has long been working to nurture ACOs and the value-based payment system they represent. Over 6 years ago, the NCMS initiated the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative, which produced a valuable series of toolkits for practices and various specialties interested in making the move to value-based care. Browse the toolkits.

The ACO Council, which brings together North Carolina ACOs that are part of the MSSP and Next Gen program for Medicare, along with the NC Population Health Collaborative, which gathers all those with an interest in the move to value and population health, have become must-attend meetings. Participants share best practices and discuss the challenges they face.

Staff from the NCMS routinely visit ACOs across North Carolina to discuss their successes, challenges and how the NCMS can help.

“We are encouraged when we hear about the strides being made,” said Phelps, who recently completed a tour of ACOS in the triad and the Charlotte areas. “And we are inspired to keep going when we hear how much these practices appreciate the resources we offer, and the forum for ideas and mutual support provided by the ACO Council, for instance. It can be lonely out there on the frontier of health care transformation. I’m glad we can offer resources, connections and moral support.”


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