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Central PA Providers Announce New Accountable Care Organization; Model Growing in State

February 17, 2015

Several central Pennsylvania health care entities announced they are collaborating to create a new Accountable Care Organization (ACO), Penn State Health Care Partners.

Lancaster-based Physicians Alliance LTD, Reading-based St. Joseph Regional Health Network and Integrated Medical Group P.C., and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will collectively serve the health care needs of approximately 27,500 Medicare beneficiaries across several central Pennsylvania counties. They will coordinate patient care such as checkups, tests, procedures and follow-ups, and share information between all health care providers.

Beneficiaries in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill, and York counties will receive the coordinated, quality care, with an emphasis on prevention and wellness. The goal is to improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience, and reduce costs.

The objective of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO succeeds both in delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.

As Penn State Health Care Partners develops its clinical integration programs, the focus will include:

  • Chronic disease management involving but not limited to: Diabetes, Heart Disease, Multiple Chronic Conditions
  • Coordination of care across the continuum of primary, specialty, sub-specialty care, including prevention and screening, therapy and rehabilitation services, and chronic disease management

Penn State Health Care Partners is one of several new Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during December 2014. Nine other ACOs are Pennsylvania-based or part of multi-state initiatives that serve Pennsylvanians. 

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