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Aurora Health Care joins new accountable care collaborative

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Milwaukee – Aurora Health Care has joined the Premier health care alliance’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Readiness Collaborative. In joining this effort, Aurora will begin the work necessary to implement essential health care reforms that deliver high-quality, patient-centered care. As part of this collaborative, Aurora expects to work toward creating ACOs in its markets, accepting accountability for the care delivered to patients by improving care coordination, efficiency, quality and patient satisfaction.

ACOs are defined as a group of providers coming together to accept accountability for a defined patient population’s care. ACOs are designed to keep patients healthy and out of intensive care settings, while simultaneously linking reimbursements to reflect the achievement of top performance goals.

“There’s no question that meeting the demands of health care reform will require providers to assume greater accountability for community health,” says Nick Turkal, MD, president and chief executive officer for Aurora Health Care. “Keeping people healthy is the best way for health systems to add real value, control healthcare costs and increase overall satisfaction. We truly believe that ACOs are the future.”

The ACO Readiness Collaborative includes more than 40 health systems nationwide that will work together to test, measure and share best practices for creating ACOs and improving overall health and wellness in their communities. Collaborative members also study and work toward developing critical components of accountable care, including:

  • Patient-centered health homes that deliver primary care and manage health and wellness.
  • New approaches to primary, specialty and hospital care to reward care coordination, efficiency and productivity.
  • Tightly integrated relationships with specialists, ancillary providers and hospitals so they are similarly focused and aligned to achieve high-value outcomes.
  • Provider/payer partnerships and reimbursement models that incent improved outcomes, rewarding value over volume.
  • Population health information infrastructure, including health information exchanges, to enable care coordination across provider networks.

“By embarking on this effort to improve the quality, efficiency and satisfaction of patient care, Aurora is putting patients first and starting an exciting journey to transform health care,” said Premier President and CEO Susan DeVore. “The work required to become an ACO will be extremely challenging. Aurora deserves tremendous credit for its commitment to exploring necessary reforms that will help ensure our system is sustainable and highly effective. Aurora is a true marketplace leader, with a commitment to community health.”

The Premier ACO Readiness Collaborative is basing the definition of value — and, thus, the accountability for delivering it — on the Triple Aim approach used by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The Triple Aim requires providers to simultaneously focus on optimizing quality and outcomes of care; patient satisfaction with care, patient engagement in their care and overall patient involvement in working toward optimal health outcomes; and efficiency, typically measured as a per member, per month cost of care.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,400 U.S. hospitals and 69,000-plus other healthcare sites working together to achieve high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier works with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has offices in San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington.

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Contact: Myrle Croasdale
Phone: 414-389-2210

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