Atrius Health announced yesterday it has ranked as the highest on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) overall quality score among Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Massachusetts and has ranked third highest nationally based on 33 ACO quality measures tracked by the CMS. Atrius Health’s medical groups achieved among the highest quality and patient experience scores nationally while also achieving savings for Medicare according to 2014 results released today by the CMS for over 300 organizations participating in Medicare ACOs. Atrius Health, a nonprofit alliance of leading community-based medical groups (Dedham Medical Associates, Granite Medical Group, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates) and a home health agency and hospice, was one of 32 organizations nationally initially selected to participate in the Medicare Pioneer ACO Model (currently, there are 19 Pioneer ACOs participating). Calendar year 2014 Atrius Health performance also included Reliant Medical Group, South Shore Medical Center, and Southboro Medical Group.
The CMS chose 33 quality measures to represent patient/caregiver experience, care coordination, and patient safety, preventive health, and risk for patients with diabetes, hypertension, ischemic vascular disease, and heart failure and/or coronary artery disease. On 30 of the 33 measures, Atrius Health scored above the mean as compared with over 300 ACOs nationally. All measures include Medicare beneficiaries who received most of their primary care at one of the Atrius Health groups.
Atrius Health groups have been providing superlative care for decades to many of their elderly patients—and this is strongly evident in Medicare patients’ self-reported assessments of the overall patient-caregiver experience. More Atrius Health ACO patients surveyed rated their physicians and communication with their physicians as “excellent” than comparable patient populations in 90 percent of ACOs across the country. Additionally, patients rated Atrius Health better than 90 percent of other ACOs in terms of effective health promotion and education efforts.
“I’m very proud of this wonderful organization and all that it has accomplished,” said Steven Strongwater, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atrius Health. “At Atrius Health we value the entire patient experience and we work hard on building the relationship between our patients, their physicians, and all those involved in their care. This is why we were so gratified to see that our patients had again rated Atrius Health physicians, doctor-patient communication, and health promotion, and education above their peers. This translates not only into a better patient experience, but also helps patients achieve better health.”
Based on the CMS analysis, Atrius Health was ranked fourth for meaningful use of its EHR across all Pioneer ACOs. In addition, Atrius Health rated above the 90th percentile on four important preventative measures including screening for fall risk, effectively identifying patients at highest risk of depression, tobacco use assessment and cessation intervention, and blood sugar control in patients with diabetes.
“Atrius Health is particularly proud of the work we have done with our diabetic patients to help them to gain better control of their blood sugar levels and minimize their risk for serious diabetes-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure,” said Richard Lopez, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Atrius Health. The important Diabetes Composite Measure on which Atrius Health achieved well above the 90th percentile includes: glucose control, blood pressure control, and cholesterol control.
For its third year in a row as a Pioneer ACO, Atrius Health has seen improved financial performance. For the 31,000 Medicare beneficiaries served by the Atrius Health medical groups participating in the Pioneer ACO model in 2014, Atrius Health saved Medicare $4.5 million compared to its target, returning $2.8M in savings to Atrius Health. Atrius Health’s target is the lowest among Massachusetts Pioneer ACOs, because of Atrius Health’s already strong historical performance. Atrius Health applied its savings to investments in care coordination, training, data analytics, information technology, and other resources serving its Medicare beneficiaries.
“These results are a further testament to the significant gains that Atrius Health has made toward our goal of improving quality, improving patient experience, and also bringing down the cost of care,” added Dr. Strongwater. “My congratulations to the many dedicated clinicians and staff across our organization whose work on behalf of our patients has led to this amazing accomplishment.”