Atrius Health demonstrates highest quality scores in New England for Medicare beneficiaries

| Posted On Nov 24, 2014 | By:

AtriusSig1Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and the other medical groups in Atrius Health demonstrated the achievement of the highest scores for quality in New England among Pioneer ACOs and second highest scores for quality nationally among Pioneer ACOs when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released scores for quality among the 237 organizations participating in a new model of caring for Medicare beneficiaries. Atrius Health is one of 23 organizations nationally participating in the highly selective Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model.

The 33 quality measures were chosen by CMS to represent patient/caregiver experience, care coordination and patient safety, preventive health, and risk for patients with diabetes, hypertension, ischemic vascular disease, heart failure and/or coronary artery disease. All results were based on 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 these patients—and this is strongly evident in our Medicare patients’ self-reported assessments of their health status. More Atrius Health ACO patients surveyed rated their own health status as “excellent” than comparable patient populations across the country.

“Atrius Health is particularly proud of minimizing the risk for our diabetic patients –of serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure,” said Anita Ung, MD, Director of Quality Improvement. The important Diabetes Composite Measure on which Atrius Health achieved well above the 90th percentile includes: glucose control, blood pressure control, and cholesterol control. “Furthermore, we have contributed to decreasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke, which usually increases with age, by controlling blood pressure among seniors with known high blood pressure (hypertension). Our performance on this measure was better than 90% of organizations against which we were compared.”

In addition, because depression is a common but often quietly unidentified problem in the elderly, CMS is interested in measuring how many Medicare patients have been screened annually for depression. Atrius Health used its advanced electronic health record (EHR) and implemented new procedures to efficiently identify elderly patients at highest risk of depression to their physicians. In one year, Atrius succeeded in moving from average screening rates to greater than the 90th percentile.

Based on the CMS analysis, Atrius Health was ranked among the top performers for meaningful use of its EHR for all ACOs nationally. Also, Atrius Health rated above the 90th percentile on four patient experience measures, screening for fall risk, pneumococcal vaccination, tobacco use assessment and cessation intervention, colorectal cancer screening, mammography screening, blood sugar control in patients with diabetes , percent of patients with ischemic vascular disease having a complete lipid profile and cholesterol less than 100 mg/dl, and percent of beneficiaries on drug therapy for lowering cholesterol.

“This tremendous accomplishment represents a lot of hard work on behalf of our patients by many dedicated clinicians and staff across our organization,” said Richard Lopez, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Atrius Health.

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