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CHA ACO, LLC improves care for Medicare patients, saves Medicare $6.4 million

CHA Accountable Care Organization (ACO), LLC, operated by Beacon Health System, improved care for nearly 12,300 Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana and southwest Michigan in 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

As part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, accountable care organizations that meet quality and cost goals are authorized to receive a portion of the savings they produce for Medicare beneficiaries. CHA ACO saved Medicare $6.4 million, earning the South Bend-based ACO $4.6 million in a shared savings bonus. Some of these savings will be reinvested in new technologies and ongoing care coordination efforts.

“When providers work together through an ACO to focus on patients and invest in care coordination, they can increase quality and reduce costs,” said Diane Maas, Chief Strategy and Digital Growth Officer at Beacon Health. “ACOs like ours are measurably improving care and saving money while maintaining patient choice of Medicare providers.”

CHA ACO improved on its quality goal, achieving a quality score of 96.87 percent on performance measures ranging from preventive health checks to use of computerized health records to preventing avoidable hospitalizations. Clinicians and providers share best practices to coordinate the care beneficiaries receive from different primary care and specialty providers and to prevent health issues and repeat hospitalizations. Maas said CHA ACO also focuses on ensuring smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home, or to a nursing home, if needed.

In 2020, CHA ACO included Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Elkhart General Hospital, Community Hospital of Bremen, Beacon Medical Group and many hospital-based providers who serve Indiana and southwest Michigan. CHA ACO initially joined the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2014.

“The Medicare ACO Shared Savings Program is the largest value-based payment model in the country and a critical tool in moving the health system toward better value,” Maas said. “This is seventh year Beacon Health System has participated in the program and the second consecutive year it has received shared savings.”

About Heidi Prescott-Wieneke