Lifespan Health Alliance Awarded High Quality Designation for Medicare Services

October 7, 2020

Lifespan announced today that the Lifespan Health Alliance - a partnership between Lifespan Health System and the primary care practices who make up Community Physician Partners – was awarded a high quality rating by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare (CMS) for improving care for 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Rhode Island.  According to recently released performance data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CMS, the Lifespan Health Alliance saved Medicare $2.6 million by meeting quality and cost goals in 2019.
 
The Lifespan Health Alliance is a Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that has met quality standards for patient care and demonstrated cost management.  ACOs work together on improving quality, enhancing patient experience and keeping care affordable, and also share in the savings they generate after meeting defined quality and cost goals.
 
“Accountable care organizations—great innovations of the Affordable Care Act—are making a difference in Rhode Island,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  “Our ACOs have improved the patient experience and quality of care while achieving cost savings.  I applaud the Lifespan Health Alliance and all Rhode Island ACOs, which are among the best in the country.”
 
Lifespan and Community Physician Partners ACO collaborate to increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries taking advantage of annual wellness visits including recommended screenings and preventive care.  They also share best practices and coordinate the care beneficiaries receive from different primary care and specialty providers to prevent repeat or unnecessary hospitalizations and ensure smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home or a nursing home if needed.  
 
“I congratulate Lifespan for their success in providing seniors with coordinated health care services that enhance quality and achieve savings,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Improving patient care at lower costs was a fundamental goal of the Affordable Care Act, and these results demonstrate just how that goal can be achieved.  I look forward to working with Lifespan and their health care partners, providers and patients to expand upon this success and ensure all Rhode Islanders can benefit from quality, affordable health care services.”
 
“I’m pleased that Lifespan and all Rhode Island accountable care organizations are continuing to deliver results in our state,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “In addition to saving money, ACOs offer a better patient experience and quality of care. I look forward to continuing our work together.”
 
In 2019 nationally, 541 ACOs caring for 11.2 million beneficiaries participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, generating gross savings of $2.6 billion based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services methodology for setting financial benchmarks.  After accounting for shared savings earned by ACOs in 2019, estimated net Medicare savings were $1.2 billion.  
 
"When providers work together through an ACO to focus on patients and invest in care coordination, information technology and other care improvements, they can both increase quality and reduce costs," said Daniel Moynihan, Executive Director, Lifespan Health Alliance.  "ACOs like ours are measurably improving care and saving money while maintaining patient choice of Medicare providers.  The Medicare Shared Savings Program is the largest value-based payment model in the country and a critical tool in moving the health system toward better value.”
 
The Lifespan Health Alliance ACO earned a quality score of 97.69 percent on performance measures including completion of preventive health checks and use of computerized health records, which resulted in shared savings to the partnership that will be used in part to invest in systems to better coordinate care, eliminate waste and improve quality. 
 
Members of the Lifespan Health Alliance ACO include Anchor Medical Group, Brown Medicine, David Steigman, MD, Medical Associates of Rhode Island, University Internal Medicine, Wayland Medical Associates and Women’s Internal Medicine.
 
More information about Accountable Care Organizations is available on the National Association of ACOs website at https://www.naacos.com.

Kathleen Hart

Director, Public Relations
401-444-7299
khart2@lifespan.org