TN Health System Charts Its Own Course

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 23, 2012

This article appears in the May 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Mountain States Health Alliance, a 13-hospital system based in Johnson City, Tenn., began thinking about becoming an ACO back in 2010 when it was working on its 10-year strategic plan. There was a general agreement among its leadership that what had historically made the system a success wasn't going to carry it forward in the future.  

They began to see the ACO  as a more sustainable model for the group. Mountain States submitted an application to CMS to participate in the Pioneer ACO program, but the application was rejected because MSHA couldn't commit to kicking off the ACO in January 2012.

MSHA didn't let the rejection end its ACO dreams. Instead, it repurposed the organization it planned to use for the Pioneer program into a commercial ACO, Anew Care Collaborative, with CrestPoint Health as the payer.

The regional ACO will provide services in the Johnson City and Kingsport areas of northeast Tennessee as well as the Abington area of southwest Virginia. Beginning in July, the ACO will house a commercial component consisting of Mountain State's 9,500 employees and a Medicaid component comprising Medicaid beneficiaries in southwest Virginia.

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