- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has recently partnered with McKesson Business Performance Services to form a service-based organization called ACO Partner meant to function in the evolving value-based care reimbursement environment of today’s healthcare industry. In particular, ACO Partner brings a greater focus on population health management and patient satisfaction.
The joint venture is meant to assist in payer-provider collaboration, population health, and meeting the goals of the Triple Aim, according to a company press release. This includes lowering healthcare costs, improving health outcomes, and boosting the patient experience.
Physician engagement solutions and care management technologies will play a major part in this new service-based organization. The healthcare provider network of ACO Partner will have a chance to take part in shared savings opportunities with payers. For more information regarding the newly formed organization, HealthPayerIntelligence.com spoke with John Wallace, appointed President and Chief Operation Officer of ACO Partner.
HealthPayerIntelligence.com: How will this new partnership improve population health management within its patient base?
John Wallace: “In today’s changing healthcare landscape, payers and providers are shifting from fee-for-service to a value-based reimbursement structure with a population health approach. This evolution toward a value-based environment benefits the entire care continuum and creates a unique opportunity to make a profound impact on patient health.”
“That’s why we created ACO Partner, an organization dedicated to helping payers and provider groups succeed on the path to value-based care and reimbursement. Through our value-based services and technology infrastructure, we help healthcare providers deliver the best care with improved cost efficiencies and so in turn, patients receive higher quality of care at a better value.”
“By providing analytics and reporting with meaningful action plans combined with clinical support staff, we have created new levels of collaboration between all major stakeholders, which helps manage population risk and supports our overarching goal of increasing population health.”
HealthPayerIntelligence.com: Will patient satisfaction play a significant role in this joint venture? How so?
John Wallace: “Yes, patient satisfaction and improved outcomes go hand-in-hand and essentially define quality of care. For patients, ACO Partner will help to strengthen outcomes while helping reduce avoidable or even wasteful out-of-pocket expenses. By educating patients about high-quality care and available resources, ACO Partner helps providers with patient engagement and patient satisfaction.”
“This level of education drives on our ability to not just contact a patient but to actually engage and empower them, creating meaningful and sustainable change. The greatest value to a provider for joining ACO Partner comes through the improved quality of care for patients.”
“By helping providers on the path to value-based care and reimbursement, we help support improved outcomes and cost efficiencies, and by doing this also help providers retain their patient population through improved patient satisfaction. In addition, there’s a correlation between patient satisfaction and care coordination. Our clinical staff will act as an extension of our providers’ practices to help deliver patient-centered customer experience and simultaneously increase the overall health of the patient.”
HealthPayerIntelligence.com: What type of strategies will Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona use to strengthen collaboration with partnering providers?
John Wallace: “Through ACO Partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) can assist providers with the practical components of value-based care, including disease and case management, population health management and patient engagement. For providers, ACO Partner will help ease their burden as they become active participants in value-based care.”
“Through clinician collaboration services, practice education and transformation resources, we help providers onboard with ACO Partner’s value-based services. And through our care coordination and care navigation services, we help manage patient quality of care for participating provider networks. Being a scalable and payer-neutral solution, ACO Partner provides BCBSAZ the strategic infrastructure that supports collaboration between other payers and provider groups at both state and national levels.”
“Lastly, BCBSAZ is able to deliver a breadth of services to their network providers from an organization that has a proven track record and understands the unique nature of serving patients clinicians.”
HealthPayerIntelligence.com: What specific areas will ACO Partner target to reduce healthcare spending?
John Wallace: “By contracting with payers and provider groups, ACO Partner helps to reduce healthcare spending through strong partnerships in pursuit of high-quality care. A cornerstone to this success lies within the ability to coordinate care and decrease avoidable, unnecessary, or redundant interventions.”
“We also believe managing things that aren’t measured is very difficult so we provide analytics to support payers and providers to improve care quality, reduce avoidable costs, manage population risk and support population health management. Detailed reporting and analytics are provided for participating payers and providers, and focus on key performance metrics that are tied to quality and efficiency benchmarks.”
“Pull all this together with innovative patient engagement strategies, practice level education, and the alignment of incentives that focus on increasing the quality of care in the most efficient manner gives us a platform that allows clinicians to succeed in value-based reimbursement.”