Adventist Health System Forms Accountable Care Organization

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Adventist Health System (AHS) today announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the formation of its first Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and its participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The ACO provides the infrastructure for the Shared Savings Program, which cares for senior citizens across the state of Florida. Nearly 55,000 Medicare beneficiaries are expected to be part of the Shared Savings Program in the inaugural year.

'We are excited that CMS has the confidence in our ability to provide coordinated, high quality care to seniors in Florida,' said Nishant Anand, MD, chairman of the AHS ACO board. 'We believe that with skilled and compassionate physicians, hospitals and other health care facilities working together, we can improve health outcomes for seniors in communities throughout the state.'

Approximately 1,500 physicians provide care as part of the AHS ACO, with Florida Hospital employed physicians across the state participating alongside leading-edge, independent physicians who desire to help make the communities they serve healthier. AHS ACO providers understand the need to improve the patient experience and provide high quality medical care at a reduced cost, and will collaborate with each other and with Florida Hospital facilities to achieve those goals.

'In health care today, it is critical that the needs of the patient are at the center of the health care delivery system,' said Tim Pursley, MD, an independent primary care physician at Maitland Family Practice. 'As an independent physician, I am excited to join with other health care providers to make improvements across the industry as part of the AHS ACO.'

Physician leadership is also an important component of the AHS ACO. The AHS ACO board is physician-led, with a total of 18 voting members; 14 are physicians and three are Adventist Health System executives, with the final board member being a Medicare beneficiary to help ensure the needs of patients are considered at the highest levels of the ACO. The AHS ACO board ensures quality standards are met, and that the clinical focus of the organization aligns with the health care needs of its beneficiaries. The ACO is one of several ways Adventist Health System is working to make care more accessible through population health initiatives.

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