Regional Healthcare Organizations Partner to Form Keystone ACO
The announcement is the latest and largest round of approved accountable care organizations under the Medicare shared-savings program. This most recent addition of ACOs ensures that as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries across the United States now have access to high-quality, coordinated care, said Thomas Graf, M.D., chief medical officer for Population Health at Geisinger Health System and chief executive officer of Keystone ACO.
“Improving quality while reducing cost has been Geisinger’s driving organizational strategy for more than a decade,” Dr. Graf said. “The Affordable Care Act and CMS have incentivized doctors and healthcare providers to establish ACOs in order to work together to give people with Medicare the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”
“Wayne Memorial Hospital is continually looking for ways to enhance the quality, efficiency and affordability of healthcare for all our patients,” said Wayne Memorial Chief Executive Officer David L. Hoff. “The formation of the Keystone ACO offers us a new avenue to realize these goals for our Medicare patients, and we anticipate that the coordination between members will result in an exceptional patient experience. We look forward to working with Geisinger, Evangelical, participating physicians and all other members of this new partnership.”
ACO’s are a unique opportunity for financially strong, independent healthcare facilities to work together to serve their communities while at the same time experiencing cost savings that can be re-invested into more care programs that only create more benefits for their patients.
Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 ACOs have been established. Beneficiaries using ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO. Accountable care organizations share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in healthcare costs, while meeting standards for quality of care.
The Keystone ACO is comprised of three primary members and eight participating healthcare or physician organizations in Pennsylvania:
• Geisinger Health System
o Geisinger Medical Center, Danville
o Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre
o Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital, Bloomsburg
o Geisinger-Community Medical Center, Scranton
• Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg
o Evangelical Medical Services Organization
*Community Medical Care, Inc.
• Wayne Memorial Hospital, Honesdale
• Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, Honesdale
• Highland Physicians, Ltd., Honesdale
Together, approximately 7,500 patients can expect to receive care under the auspices of the Keystone ACO.
ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe and timely. CMS has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations and patient and caregiver experience of care. Federal savings from this initiative are expected to reach $940 million over four years.
Nationwide, the new ACOs include a diverse cross-section of physician practices across the country. Roughly half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries. Approximately 20 percent of ACOs include community health centers, rural health centers and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities.
About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 20,000 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, six hospital campuses, two research centers and the 310,000-member Geisinger Health Plan, all of which leverage an estimated $5.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.
About Wayne Memorial Hospital
Wayne Memorial Hospital is a non-profit community hospital working with more than 200 physicians and mid-level providers to serve an estimated 100,000 residents in Wayne and Pike counties, Pennsylvania and the Upper Delaware Region of New York State. The hospital has 98 acute-care beds, plus 14 beds dedicated to inpatient rehabilitation, and an extensive network of outpatient services, including imaging, laboratory and rehabilitation therapies. Wayne Memorial is recognized as a leader among rural hospitals for electronic medical records implementation. Founded in 1920, the hospital is the heart of Wayne Memorial Health System, Inc., which boasts 1,000 employees and includes a skilled nursing facility and a durable home medical equipment company. Wayne Memorial and its clinical affiliate, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, also offer primary care, women’s health, dental and behavioral health provider services in seven off-campus facilities. According to the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, Wayne Memorial contributes $134 million overall to the local economy each year. More information can be found at www.wmh.org and Facebook.
About Evangelical Community Hospital
Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.