Joining Together for a Healthier Maine

Central Maine Healthcare and Beacon Health are teaming up to help ensure Maine communities have access to the highest quality care, close to home. We are proud to announce a new partnership between Beacon Health, the population health member of EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems), and Central Maine Healthcare. This new collaboration includes a statewide network of primary care providers, nurses, and quality experts all working together to personalize and make care delivery consistent across the cities and towns of our rural state.

One of the fastest growing healthcare models is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). ACOs were created to change how healthcare is delivered, moving from a system that rewards the quantity of services to one that rewards the quality of health outcomes. Beacon Health is the largest ACO in Maine and in the past five years has brought together hundreds of providers, primary care practices, specialty clinics, and hospitals into a network that is providing some of the highest quality, coordinated care in the country, according to Medicare’s Pioneer ACO program. Beacon Health and Central Maine ACO are two of more than 400 ACOs recognized by Medicare in the United States.

Beacon Health and Central Maine Healthcare are currently partnering with Martin’s Point, a Maine based insurance company, in a population health agreement for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. In addition to their pledge to improve the patient experience, the two ACOs have also agreed to share financial risk with Martin’s Point Insurance Company in a unique and innovative arrangement for all involved.

Beacon Health president Michael Donahue states “Our mission is to support each person living at their healthiest. As we transition from sick to well care it’s vital that we have strong relationships with our communities and all those that provide care across Maine. By expanding our network we get new experts at the table to help us make sure the care model we are building is the right one. Population health can be successful when you can bring providers, employers, insurance companies, and most importantly patients together and this new arrangement is a big step towards succeeding.”

Peter Chalke, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, adds, “We are genuinely excited to be at the forefront of healthcare reform. We feel we have a track record of safety and great care at low cost. This move forward with Beacon Health is a natural progression into the new world of healthcare and the possibilities seem endless.”

The success of the new cooperative model won’t be known for many months, but in the meantime, all partners are committed to eliminating barriers to communication, increasing the coordination of care, and putting patients first. Central Maine Healthcare, Mount Desert Island Hospital, and all EMHS members are strategically and financially linked together to move this transformation forward in a lasting and meaningful way.

The Beacon Health network includes 15 hospitals, 559 primary care providers from 114 practice locations working together across 63 Maine cities and towns to coordinate care, improve quality and patient experiences, and manage costs. Beacon Health’s Nurse Care Coordination program is the first healthcare provider-based program in the country to receive NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) accreditation. Since 1990, NCQA has been considered the gold standard for improving healthcare across the country. According to patient surveys, 96 percent of patients who receive this support feel they are receiving very good to excellent care.

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