IT Spending Guide: Place Your Bets

Scott Mace, February 1, 2018

Scottsdale-based Innovation Care Partners (ICP), an affiliate of HonorHealth located in Scottsdale, Arizona, is an ACO with 85,000 covered lives, more than 1,600 physicians, and 500 practice locations.

In performance year 2016, ICP scored 96% across all quality measures, and overall saved about $18.7 million on a population of 18,000 Medicare beneficiaries.

ICP received a shared savings payment of $8.9 million.

"We're the only Medicare shared savings plan in Arizona that earned shared savings in its first year, and we're the only one to earn shared savings three years in a row," says Faron Thompson, chief operating officer of ICP.

Using MSSP quality reporting tool technology codeveloped with Orion Health, a global company that develops software to help with efficiency and outcomes in healthcare, ICP delved deep into the data in its physician practices, most of which are independent from the ACO, Thompson says.

"We went from very complicated spreadsheets and secure emails and hounding practices to get us data in the first year to the second year. The practices were so happy about the web-based tool and how easy it was to use, they were asking us to start early," Thompson says.

Traditional analytics failed to capture all the quality metrics for a variety of reasons. In the past, attempts to capture patient quality data were centered around that patient's primary care physician.

Now, using the technology, ICP can also assign patients, from a reporting perspective, to specialists, such as cardiologists, who may possess quality data that was previously not being aggregated with the primary care physician–reported data, Thompson says.

Orion's key contribution is pulling this quality data out of the multitude of EHRs in use at the various independent practices, without requiring as much labor-intensive work and staffing on the ACO's part, he says.

Thompson says it is difficult to quantify the total dollars the ACO has spent on this initiative, since the investment includes intangibles such as staff time and resources.

"The ACO should have staff to oversee and manage the quality reporting effort," he says. "They need this whether they use this tech or not. We have about two FTEs to do that."

Looking forward, ICP intends to apply this same technology with Medicare Advantage plans that require more automated reporting, Thompson says.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders Media.

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