January 11, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been selected as a Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (ACO), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today. It took effect Jan. 1.
An ACO is an organization that provides Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care. 
Ohio State Health ACO will work with approximately 13,200 Medicare beneficiaries. Through the coordination of care among doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, the goal is to ensure patients get the right care at the right time, while reducing overall health care costs.
Patients are not limited to ACO participating doctors and can choose providers outside of the organization. ACOs can receive a portion of the Medicare savings generated, as long as they meet standards for high-quality care.
“Becoming an ACO helps us fulfill key goals toward population health management and reinforces our commitment to value-based care,” said David P. McQuaid, chief operating officer of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and chief executive officer of The Ohio State University Health System. “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.”
Under the ACO model, primary care physicians center their practice on wellness and prevention. They also gain more oversight of the many procedures and treatments that patients experience throughout their lifetimes.  
“Providing coordinated care is an important aim of 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,” said Dr. Mary Jo Welker, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “We’ll also work on transition of care as our patients go home from a hospital stay to be sure they have the medication, equipment and support they need, as well as appropriate follow-up care.”
ACOs were established as part of the Affordable Care Act. According to CMS, there are 561 ACOs caring for 10.5 million beneficiaries across the country. For more information about the Medicare Shared Savings Program, go to: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/index.html?redirect=/sharedsavingsprogram

Media Contact: Marti Leitch, Wexner Medical Center Media Relations, 614-293-3737 or Marti.Leitch@osumc.edu



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