ACO uses novel approach to gauge quality of Scottsdale docs

Innovation Care Partners, an accountable care organization, launched in 2012 with a focus on supporting local physicians in Scottsdale, Ariz., with services that included a health information exchange platform. After 18 months of experience, it was time to take the next step and participate in the Medicare Shared Savings ACO program.

The local ACO was unconventional from the start, with three-quarters of about 1,600 participating physicians being independent of a health system and wanting to stay that way, with each owning their own electronic health record systems.

The challenge was to leverage techniques and technologies to be successful despite the ACO being a hodge-podge of organizations, acknowledges Faron Thompson, chief operating officer at Innovation Care Partners.

To start, the ACO worked with physicians to develop a paper-based quality reporting process and soon learned that it was not going to work well, so a quality data capturing and reporting platform was built with help from the HIE partner.

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During an educational session at HIMSS18, Thompson and James Whitfill, chief medical officer at Innovation Care Partners, will explain the challenges faced, solutions found and benefits accrued.

“You can be successful with quality reporting with 60 EHRs,” Thompson contends. “The main message is you don’t have to be vertically integrated and all on the same EHR to be successful in an ACO. There is a lot of value in having independent physician practices and coming up with approaches to make it work well.”

Session 119, “Shared Savings Power Tools: An ACO-Focused App and Open HIE,” is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, in room Delfino 4004.

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