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ACO Partner rewards 148 physicians with $148,000 in shared savings

Unlike a traditional ACO, providers can earn rewards for value-based performance but are not charged membership or service fees.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

A unique arrangement between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Change Healthcare reported shared savings on Tuesday. 

The independent, physician-centric accountable care organization called ACO Partner said it is is giving $148,000 to 148 physicians who earned shared savings in the program during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Established in 2016, ACO Partner is jointly operated by Change Healthcare, a software and analytics company, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. ACO Partner contracts with independent primary care providers and offers them patient data analytics, care coordination, and provider engagement services to earn shared savings.

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"The tools and support that ACO Partner offers to independent primary care providers throughout Arizona is a significant step towards enabling high-quality and efficient care, and ultimately in supporting providers in achieving success in value-based care." said Woodrow Myers, Jr. MD, chief medical officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. 

Unlike a traditional accountable care organizations, providers can earn rewards for value-based performance but are not charged any membership fees or service charges, Change said.

Each physician in the program was reimbursed a payment ranging from under $1,000 to $5,000, for achieving the goals of reducing cost, an enhanced patient experience and improving the population health of over 27,000 BCBS of Arizona commercial plan members, Change said.

The ACO Partner program has since grown to include more than 725 providers treating over 45,000 BCBS of Arizona members. 

The next planned release of shared savings program rewards in September will reflect results for the 2017 program year.

"This distinctive program is payer-neutral, and fosters meaningful collaboration between payers and providers with its patient-centric approach to achieving healthcare's triple aim," said John Wallace, senior vice president at Change Healthcare and president and chief operating officer of ACO Partner.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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