NEW ORLEANS – The Ochsner Accountable Care Network achieved its sixth consecutive year of top-ranking results in both clinical performance and healthcare savings for Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s Medicare population. Its network of physicians and providers who support the Medicare Shared Savings Program lowered expected cost of care by nearly $24 million for more than 40,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 2021. Over the last six years, OACN has improved the health outcomes for our beneficiaries and reduced healthcare spending by more than $100 million.
“Saving millions of dollars and improving the health of our region’s most vulnerable patients six years running, and on the heels of a global pandemic, marks a milestone year for Ochsner Accountable Care Network,” said Robert Hart, Ochsner executive vice president and chief medical officer.
OACN’s 2021 clinical successes, highlighted by a 100% quality score, can be attributed to increasing primary care physician visits, focusing on high-risk patient care coordination and support, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations through ambulatory care coordination, and improving patient satisfaction. Through these efforts, OACN achieved the following results:
- OACN hospitalizations were 9% lower than other Medicare fee for service providers
- OACN performed 27% better than the mean ACO in managing diabetic patients
- OACN performed 20% better than the mean ACO in breast cancer screenings
- Care coordination efforts:
- Coordinated care for nearly 8,000 ACO beneficiaries through our nurse advice line.
- Discharged approximately 1,800 ACO beneficiaries from our hospitals, who then received a coordinated transition encounter to help them navigate the time between discharge and their first visit with their primary care provider post-discharge.
- Coordinated COVID-19 care for nearly 4,000 ACO beneficiaries through our text-based tracker program.
- Patient-reported outcomes indicate overwhelming satisfaction for how our providers deliver care, when compared to the MSSP ACO mean
In 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated 41% of U.S. adults delayed or avoided medical care during the pandemic because of concerns about COVID-19, including 12% who reported having avoided urgent or emergency care.
“Despite making up for care delays that accumulated during 2020’s COVID-19 public health emergency and a 33% growth in OACN’s beneficiary population, our clinicians lowered expected care costs in 2021 by $24 million, which places OACN in the nation’s top 5% of Medicare Shared Savings ACOs,” said Beau Raymond, the program’s interim executive director.
ACOs are groups of physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, quality care to Medicare patients. The goal of an ACO is to improve efficiency and coordination of care, resulting in improved care delivery and reduced healthcare costs to both the patient and organization. Patients see the benefit of an ACO through improved communication with their healthcare teams and reduced duplication in paperwork and medical tests.