Newswise — The Johns Hopkins Medicine Alliance for Patients (JMAP), the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) of Johns Hopkins Medicine, announces that it has been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to renew its participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program for the next three years. The Shared Savings Program offers financial incentives to encourage ACOs to improve coordination, communication and overall care for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries while also reducing health care costs.

“We are very pleased to continue our participation in the Shared Savings Program,” says Patricia M.C. Brown, senior vice president of managed care and population health for Johns Hopkins Medicine and president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare. “These models promote a highly collaborative, provider-led approach to providing the highest-quality clinical services to individuals with Medicare coverage in Maryland.”

Launched in 2014, JMAP provides services to about 38,000 Medicare patients in Maryland and Washington, D.C., with a mission to enhance the quality of care through collaboration, innovation, data-driven interventions and sharing of best practices. It is among 480 total Shared Savings Program ACOs in the United States, serving over 9 million assigned beneficiaries as of Jan. 1, 2017.

In its second year of reporting since joining the Shared Savings Program, JMAP achieved a quality score that was among the top quarter nationally and the top three in Maryland in 2015. In addition, the ACO was able to reduce rates of hospital admissions and Emergency Department visits by 2 percent from its scores in 2014.

Among its efforts to enhance care for patients, JMAP has worked with Johns Hopkins HealthCare to:

•Assign health care coordinators to work with patients with complicated medical needs to help prevent health crises that may result in an emergency room visit or inpatient admission.

•Expand its same-day response to patient needs and requests through a triage system that links patients with physician specialists quicker.

•Involve pharmacists in a review of medicines prescribed for patients to inform physicians if certain therapies traditionally used in treatment are lacking and see if there are any prescriptions that can be discontinued

Other patient care improvement efforts, including education for patients about advance directives, are currently being implemented.

JMAP affiliate organizations include The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Johns Hopkins University faculty, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Columbia Medical Practice, Potomac Physician Associates and Cardiovascular Specialists of Central Maryland.

For the Shared Savings Program fact sheet and a list of the new and renewing ACOs announced, visit the Shared Savings Program News and Updates website.