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UnityPoint Accountable Care Announces $41.9 Million in Shared Savings

Jan 18, 2021 08:12AM ● By Med Magazine

 UnityPoint Accountable Care (UAC), a subsidiary of UnityPoint Health® and one of the largest accountable care organizations (ACO) in the nation, has earned $41.9 million in shared savings for calendar year 2019. This result stems from UAC’s quality and cost performance in the Medicare Next Generation Accountable Care Model, administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center initiative.

“Our 2019 shared savings results are unprecedented,” said Dee Ahuja, MD, UnityPoint Accountable Care Chief Executive Officer. “Efficient technology and enhanced workflows have significantly improved our care delivery programs and services. They also allowed us to provide the right patient care, at the right time, and in the right place,” said Ahuja. “UnityPoint Accountable Care continues our unwavering commitment to an excellent patient experience and improvement of patient outcomes. In return, we have generated valuable savings for Medicare.”

To enhance quality and reduce unnecessary costs in 2019, UAC enacted the following methods, among others:

  • Developing the UnityPoint Health ambulatory division "Care at Home" service line and the IntelliCenter, to develop several new home-based care opportunities and expand existing Next Generation ACO Model Benefit Enhancements.

o   The Next Generation ACO Model Post-Discharge Home Visit (PDHV) Benefit Enhancement allows licensed clinicians from the UnityPoint Health Care at Home team to provide a visit at a beneficiary’s home under supervision from a physician, providing flexibility right after a Medicare beneficiary is discharged from the hospital. In 2019, this Benefit Enhancement was used for nearly 1,500 UAC beneficiaries.

o   The IntelliCenter complements a beneficiary’s transition back home by providing a post-discharge phone assessment.

  • Improved care coordination through effective use of the Next Generation ACO Model Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) 3-Day Rule Waiver Benefit Enhancement, which waives the rule of requiring a 3-day stay in an inpatient hospital prior to admission to a skilled nursing facility. In 2019, this Benefit Enhancement was used for 781 UAC beneficiaries.   

The 2019 performance year results, posted by CMS for all organizations participating in the Next Generation ACO Model, continues to show progress in the delivery of value-based care. The Next Generation ACO Model requires participating health care organizations to take on greater financial risk than previous ACO models and work to continually improve quality while reducing unnecessary cost.