Consistently Providing Proactive Healthcare Means Beacon Health Pioneer Patients are Getting Some of the Highest Quality Care in the Country


BREWER, Maine – September 18, 2014 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued quality and financial performance results showing that Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) like EMHS Beacon Health are improving the quality of care for Medicare patients. CMS cited fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers and keeping patients healthy rather than treating them when they were sick.

There were originally 32 Pioneer ACOs in the country when the program started in 2012. Today, Beacon Health is one of 22 remaining Pioneers. We are very proud to share that during the second year of the five year program our primary care provider teams located across Maine delivered the fifth highest quality of any group in America. We are especially pleased to have received high marks of satisfaction and engagement from our 22,000 Pioneer patients.

Beacon Health also made measurable improvements in 13 of 17 clinical measures established by CMS. In addition, the EMHS Beacon Health nurse care coordination program was accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) - the only clinically driven NCQA accredited program in the nation.

“We are seeing great trends in quality improvement, patient satisfaction, and cost reduction,” shares Iyad Sabbagh, MD, senior medical director of Beacon Health. “And, just as important, our providers, nurses, pharmacist, and all those involved in patient care, are engaged in this work. It’s all centered around supporting our patients in living their healthiest lives,”

Even with all these successes, the cost of care for our Pioneer patients was higher in year two than what was established as a baseline. As a result, we had to return $2.9 million to Medicare. This is consistent with the risk and shared savings agreement we have in place with CMS.

“Despite this unfavorable cost trend in year two, we are committed to this model of healthcare delivery. We believe in our care coordination based model and have extended it to the commercial market. We are energized by the transformative work being done and are proud of those leading this effort,” explains M. Michelle Hood, president and CEO of EMHS.

Beacon Health is confident that our quality and patient engagement will only continue to improve. We expect to end this year within the minimum savings rate (MSR), which means a zero payback to CMS. However, we are optimistic in 2015 that we will experience a shared savings, similar to what we realized in the first year of the Pioneer.

The Beacon Health Pioneer network is made up of all EMHS members, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Mount Desert Island Hospital, Sebasticook Family Doctors, St. Joseph Healthcare, and Three Rivers.

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