Quality Matters Archive

Quality Matters reported on emerging models and trends in health care delivery reform and interviews with leaders in the field. Please read its successor, Transforming Care.

  • June/July 2014 Issue
Profile: Heartland Regional Medical Center ACO

Heartland Regional Medical Center ACO in St. Joseph, Mo., was one of 114 accountable care organizations (ACOs) to join the Medicare Shared Savings Program in 2012. The ACO, which oversees care for 12,600 Medicare beneficiaries, reduced spending by roughly 15 percent in the first year of the program by expanding its care management program for high-risk patients and engaging employed physicians in quality improvement initiatives.

Profile: Rio Grande Valley ACO Health Providers

Rio Grande Valley ACO Health Providers, a group of independent primary care providers that formed an ACO based in Donna, Tex., oversees care for about 8,500 Medicare beneficiaries. It has succeeded thus far by reducing hospital and emergency department use through more proactive management of chronic conditions—bringing down per capita costs of care for its assigned Medicare beneficiaries by about 14 percent. 

Q&A: Helping ACOs Navigate the Medicare Shared Savings Program

Several of the ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program are part of a collaborative established by Premier, Inc., to help members of the hospital and health system alliance succeed at value-based contracting. We asked Wes Champion, senior vice president of Premier Performance Partners, Premier's consulting arm, about the successes and challenges of the program thus far.

News Briefs

More states are developing all-payer claims databases, the American Medical Association endorses competency-based medical education, and more.

Publications of Note

Selected publications from the professional literature focus on geographic variation in Medicare spending, Mayo's uniform approach to cardiac care, a drop in the rate of complications from diabetes, and more.

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