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90% of Independence Blue Cross ACO Hospitals Lowered Readmission Rates

July 18, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Health insurer Independence Blue Cross has announced that 90 percent of its accountable care organization (ACO) participants in the Philadelphia region lowered their hospital readmission rates, with an average reduction of 16 percent in the first year.

Other key results from hospitals and health system participants in the first year include:

  • Half of the hospitals participating successfully reduced their medical costs, determined by customized targets based on historical costs.
  • All of the health systems improved at least one hospital-acquired infection measure or received a top distinction from the Pennsylvania Department of Health for infection control.
  • Nearly all participants scored better in measures that assess patients' experience during their hospital stay, such as their understanding of information about recovery at home.

The potential performance-based incentive dollars for doctors and hospitals is expected to approach $150 million in 2014, according to officials.

It's extraordinary to have such a high rate of engagement in our innovative ACO payment model, which reflects the true partnership we've built with hospitals and health systems," Doug Chaet, senior vice president of Independence's contracting and provider networks, said in a statement. "Here in one of the nation's most expensive regions for medical care, organized groups of health professionals are showing that more coordinated care can improve health outcomes for people and actually begin to control costs. Our ACO payment model is a critical component of our strategy to work collaboratively with physicians and hospitals to promote high quality, affordable care." 

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