Newswise — For the fourth year in a row, the HackensackAlliance Accountable Care Organization (ACO) has realized its mission of providing high quality care to its Medicare patients while reducing health care expenditures. As a participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Track 1 Model, the HackensackAlliance ACO is now ranked third in the nation, generating more than $50 million in shared savings in 2016. Of that estimated $50 million, the ACO will receive nearly $23 million which participating physicians can use to continue to improve patient care.

"We are proud of the HackensackAlliance ACO's outstanding 2016 results and are honored to be among the top 3 Medicare ACOs in the nation," said Robert C. Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. "These results are evidence of the success of a major change in health care, one we are leading. It’s known as value-based care, a big step from traditional fee-for-service medicine. The core change is that doctors and hospitals are paid to keep patients healthy, rather than receiving compensation for every treatment or hospitalization. It’s about providing the right care, at the right place and the right time.”

The HackensackAlliance ACO – one of the first in the nation - was able to achieve such incredible savings and high quality scores through the increased use of data, the hiring of care coordinators who serve as a bridge between patient and physician and improved efficiency.

"Not only has the HackensackAlliance ACO succeeded for four straight years, it has continued to improve year over year," said Mark D. Sparta, FACHE, executive vice president of Population Health Clinical Operations for Hackensack Meridian Health. "Our ACO not only generated the most savings in its history, it also boasted a strong quality score, placing it 3rd in the nation for savings and performance.”

Under the fee-for service model, hospitals and physicians get paid for every treatment or hospitalization, so the cost of care – especially for patients with chronic disease – is typically an expensive revolving door with little monitoring of cost or outcome. In contrast, ACOs rely on a predicted medical expense for the annual care of a patient. Physicians and hospitals are assigned a group of patients and work hard to keep them healthy – and share in the savings when patients remain healthy and out of the hospital.

“Thanks to our physicians’ continued dedication and collaboration, our ACO will receive nearly $23 million for our earned performance payment,” said Morey Menacker, D.O., president of HackensackAlliance ACO. “This will enable our ACO to continue to invest in our patients, helping improve care and make new advancements in care coordination.”

 ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children's hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network's notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey and three hospitals included in the top 10, according to U.S. News & World Report, more than any other health care network in the state. The network is also recognized for consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is a recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For," one of the "20 Best Workplaces in Health Care" in the nation, and the number one "Best Place to Work for Women." Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children's hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.

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