UNC Senior Alliance participation in new Accountable Care Organization model begins Jan. 1, 2017

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, UNC Senior Alliance, our Accountable Care Organization (ACO), will be responsible for the total cost of care for approximately 24,000 attributed Medicare beneficiaries in the Triangle and Caldwell service areas, regardless of where they receive care.

Our ACO will reward coordinated care across settings and provide us with flexibility to test innovative care delivery approaches, such as telehealth in a patient’s home and expansion of home health services. By reducing avoidable costs, we can invest in other needed services (e.g., transportation services, case management, etc.).

Our first goal is to reduce avoidable ED utilization, admissions and readmissions. We are concentrating our implementation efforts on UNC REX, UNC Hospitals, Caldwell Memorial Hospital and Chatham Hospital. Work teams are already in place and actively working with practices to implement programs.

Everyone can participate in our success. If you see an opportunity for improvement, let us know. If you can make a change easily to improve coordinated patient care, please do it. As you work with our Medicare ACO beneficiaries, ask yourself: Before I order the next test, has it been done before? Will ordering this test change my patient’s outcome or my decision making? Is there another option that is less costly/more aligned with my patient’s needs? How do I prevent the next ED visit or avoidable admission for my patient?

We have more than 100 co-workers, Senior Alliance Board members, leaders from the UNC Health Care system and community practices working together to develop and implement these critical programs. We thank all of you for your dedication to this important work.

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