Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently chose the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center as a designated Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (ACO), rendering it eligible to serve Medicare patients with fee-for-service care, the medical center said in a release.
The status ensures that Medicare beneficiaries can obtain expert coordinated care at the facility, which is expected to serve approximately 13,200 Medicare patients, the release said, adding that those individuals are not restricted to seeing ACO practitioners.
“Becoming an ACO helps us fulfill key goals toward population health management and reinforces our commitment to value-based care,” David McQuaid, chief operating officer of medical center and CEO of the Ohio State University Health System, said in the release. “It is about the entire system of care working closely together to provide more effective and efficient care for our patients. This ultimately helps us improve the health of the people we serve in our communities.”
The ACO program strives to model wellness- and prevention-centric practice, the release said. ACOs were created under the Affordable Care Act and currently serve approximately 10.5 million patients nationwide.
Dr. Mary Jo Welker, family medicine department chair at the medical center, said in the release that coordinated care is a priority for an ACO.
“We’ll strive to keep people healthy by helping with prevention such as immunizations and mammograms; offering guidance about lifestyle issues such as nutrition and exercise; working with care partners on chronic disease management; and being available for same-day acute injury or illness appointments,” Welker said in the release, adding that transitions from inpatient stays to follow-up care also form an important component for ACO oversight.