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Premier: ACOs Poised for Growth

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 20, 2013

Executives from two organizations, Carilion Clinic of southwestern Virginia and Aurora Health Care of Milwaukee, WI, described success in both better quality measures and outcomes, and with early signs of lower utilization.

For example, said Michael Jeremiah, MD, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Carilion, his system has "seen early success in terms of four quality outcome [measures] around diabetic patients and those with hypertension… and emergency department utilization."

Richard Klein, executive vice president of the Enterprise Business Group for Aurora, is working directly with employers to create ACOs, "and we now have 75 companies signed up with approximately 15,000 enrollees. We're taking the risks on those contracts and working closely with Anthem Healthcare in particular and Aetna, at managing that risk."

Another program Klein highlighted is the "nurse navigation concept," which places nurses at a work site or in close proximity. "They're connected to our EHR and in many cases they have prescribe authority…and help to engage the work site and the workforce and dependents directly" in an effort to give patients what they need in a timely way.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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