October 18, 2021
Accountable Care SmartBrief
Accountable Care Spotlight
An analysis of CMS and Milliman Torch Insight data showed accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) generated more than $1.86 billion in net savings for Medicare last year, with net savings per attributed beneficiary totaling around $190, up from net savings of $85 to $88 in 2019. The number of ACOs that participated in MSSP dropped 5% to 513 in 2020, but the number of total covered lives increased, while the percentage of ACOs that received the shared savings bonus rose to 67% last year, from 50% (legacy tracks) or 57% (Pathways to Success tracks) in 2019. Data showed overall ACO quality did not decline despite the pandemic, and ACOs may also have performed better than other providers at offering preventive services and primary care.
Full Story: Health Affairs Blog (10/14) 
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A group of large health systems joined an advocacy group called the Advanced Care at Home Coalition founded by the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente and Medically Home. The coalition is urging Congress to extend regulatory leeway granted for hospital-at-home models during the pandemic while the CMS Innovation Center develops a framework for testing and implementation of advanced in-home care.
Full Story: Healthcare IT News (10/14) 
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A recent Dynata/EmblemHealth survey showed that about one-fourth of American consumers are aware of what value-based care is. Sixty-three percent said health insurance companies and physicians need to collaborate to help patients understand this type of care.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (10/13) 
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Patient-centered data collection and exchange enable insights at a population level that help ensure "the system works for everyone," writes Karen Kobelski, a vice president at Wolters Kluwer. Ensuring clinical documentation is accurate, extracting data from unstructured text and normalizing clinical data to standard terminologies improve understanding and are key to payer-provider collaboration in value-based arrangements, Kobelski writes.
Full Story: The American Journal of Managed Care online (10/13) 
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Anthem Blue Cross and Providence St. Joseph Health System have partnered with tech firm Vim to strengthen their value-based care program, allowing the partners to scale their tech solutions for improved payer-provider collaboration. Vim's EHR-integrated application suite, which includes referral guidance solutions, digital scheduling, care gaps identification and benefits navigation tools, enables better data and workflow connections to boost patient outcomes, and the platform will be rolled out across Providence hospitals in Southern California.
Full Story: HIT Consultant (10/12),  Healthcare Finance (10/12) 
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Insight into Health Care Quality
A study published in JAMA Network Open found that the US Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) 2021 lung cancer screening guidelines may prompt a 53.7% increase in low-dose CT (LDCT) screening eligibility, especially among people of color. Researchers also found that 52% more women and 31.5% more individuals ages 50 to 54 would be included in the eligible population. "This updated eligibility criteria may help reduce barriers to screening access for individuals at highest risk for lung cancer," study authors wrote.
Full Story: Radiology Business (10/13),  AuntMinnie (free registration) (10/13) 
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The Technology Component
Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) reduced their blood glucose levels and adhered to medication regimens after pharmacists at St. Joseph's/Candler Health System began using audio-only telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. A greater percentage of patients met the Merit-based Incentive Payment System standard of an A1C lower than 9% after the telehealth and RPM program was implemented, according to the report.
Full Story: mHealth Intelligence (10/14) 
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Breast cancer risk prediction models should be tailored to Black people, but until now, too few Black people had enrolled in breast cancer epidemiology studies to derive accurate models. A predictive model developed and validated at Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center may help primary care providers identify Black people at high risk for breast cancer, potentially resulting in earlier screening and fewer diagnoses at a late stage.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (10/13) 
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Population Health and Patients
A study published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia found that type 2 diabetes alone did not raise the risk of cognitive impairment or affect the progression of cognitive impairment to full dementia. However, older adults with poorly controlled diabetes had a twofold greater risk of developing preclinical dementia than those without diabetes, and those who already had cognitive impairment with poorly controlled diabetes had a threefold greater risk of developing full dementia.
Full Story: McKnight's Long-Term Care News (10/12) 
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A Kaiser Family Foundation report says more than 7 out of 10 Medicare patients did not consider changes in their Medicare Advantage plan in 2018 and some discovered their medications were not covered after their plan changed. Low-income patients, those who reside in rural areas and those in poorer health were most likely not to examine their plan and compare it with others, according to the report.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (10/13) 
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A study published in Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine found that parturient women who had symptoms of COVID-19 had an increased risk for neonatal adverse outcomes and for any adverse outcome, compared with those who were positive for COVID-19 but asymptomatic and those who were negative for COVID-19. The findings, based on data involving 172 COVID-19-positive and 2,299 COVID-19-negative parturient women, "support the importance of vaccinating all pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy," one of the researchers said.
Full Story: HealthDay News (10/12) 
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Health Insurance and Accountable Care Provider Company News
Solutions Provider News
During AHIP's Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum Online (Dec. 7-9), engage with the innovators, visionaries, and forward-thinkers who are changing how health care works. Now through Oct. 29, registration is free for *AHIP member health insurance provider organizations. See all the reasons you and your colleagues should attend. Register today.
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HSA Direct Members are potential financial partners that can help health insurance providers expand and enhance their HSA products. HealthEquity, a member of AHIP's HSA Direct program, empowers Americans to build health savings by providing powerful tools for health savings accounts (HSAs) and other health financial services.   
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