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    Lessons learned from MSSP ACOs: What execs should know

    Success experienced by some participants in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) is leading to increased interest by other providers in getting involved in value-based care. That’s why the research team at Leavitt Partners used a combination of public and proprietary data to report on some early findings about these accountable care organizations (ACOs).

    Managed Healthcare Executive (MHE) recently interviewed David Muhlestein, senior director of research and development, and Douglas Hervey, director, to dig a bit deeper into their findings.

    MHE: What’s so special about what Memorial Hermann is doing? Its ACO seems to be doing really well.

    HerveyHerveyDavid Muhlestein:
    It’s a handful of things, and this is a little bit of speculation. They’re in a market where there’s a lot of opportunity to do better. When you have a higher benchmark market, it’s easier to see savings.

    The real difference, in terms of management, is that they have been doing this for a long time. One of the key takeaways is that those who have been in the program a long time seem to be performing better. Memorial Hermann actually started eight years ago going down this pathway—and it was not for the purpose of saving money; they wanted to improve quality. I think they’re just farther down their journey than a lot of the other ACOs.

    Douglas Hervey: Memorial Hermann had shared savings of $22.7 million in 2014. That’s essentially the same amount as the combined savings of the other top 10 performers in the program. If Memorial Hermann is doing things that should be instructive to the other entities in terms of better and more effectively managing population health, that would be helpful to learn. In order for the shared savings program to gain wide acceptance, the savings need to be spread out more—more than just within a select few providers.

    Next: What other provider stands out in terms of success?

    Aine Cryts
    Aine Cryts is a freelancer based in Boston. She is a frequent contributor to Managed Healthcare Executive on topics such as diabetes, ...

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