Newswise — DALLAS – Jan. 27, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Southwestern Health Resources Accountable Care Network (SWHR) saved more than $37 million in 2018. These generated savings place it at the top of organizations participating in the CMS Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model.  SWHR has saved more than $67 million since joining the Next Generation ACO Model in 2017. 

SWHR is one of the 50 ACOs that participated in the Next Generation ACO Model in 2018, which is Medicare’s highest-risk ACO model. These ACOs generated more than $240 million in gross savings, including discounts to Medicare, according to 2018 performance data made public from CMS. SWHR’s results represent more than 15 percent of total savings generated by all Next Generation ACOs. These savings are in addition to other discounts and other built-in reductions established by CMS. 

SWHR manages care for nearly 79,000 Medicare beneficiaries in North Texas aligned through the Next Generation ACO Model. This is more than any other ACO in North Texas and the fourth largest in the nation. With this model, CMS sets predictable financial targets, enables providers and beneficiaries greater opportunities to coordinate care and aims to attain the highest-quality standards of care. In accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services, this accountable care model is evaluated on its ability to deliver better care for individuals, better health for populations and lower growth in expenditures.

“These successful results reaffirm the effectiveness of our clinically integrated network of academic and community physicians and hospitals and doctors,” said Andrew Ziskind, MD, Senior Executive Officer of Southwestern Health Resources. “Being ranked No. 1 in the nation for second year in a row further demonstrates the success of the physician-driven strategies SWHR has designed to build a stronger system of care. While we’ve achieved significant savings, we also have significantly improved the quality of care delivered to patients.”

SWHR has been among the country’s top-performing programs since 2015. It was approved in 2017 to participate in the Next Generation ACO Model.

Prior to this, SWHR achieved successful performance results as part of the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), the national initiative to reduce costs by coordinating and delivering better health care for Medicare patients. This included delivering cumulative savings of $73 million during a three-year period (for 2014, 2015, and 2016), combined with maintaining a top-decile quality score in the 95th percentile nationally. SWHR’s quality scores improved 5 percent among established measures and 13 percent on preventive measures.  

SWHR’s network includes UT Southwestern Medical Center faculty, Texas Health Physicians Group members, and independent community physicians. Formerly called the UT Southwestern Accountable Care Network, the organization was among the first accountable care organizations to participate in the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Programs.

Southwestern Health Resources, which blends the strengths of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources, includes a network of 29 hospital locations and more than 5,000 physicians, committed to being the national leader in population health. With more than 500 points of access to care, this provides for higher value and allows patients to access services across a full continuum of medical needs. The network serves people across 17 counties in North Texas. In total, Southwestern Health coordinates care for more than 650,000 patients, aligned with commercial health care plans and Medicare programs. SWHR operates the nation’s highest rated Next Generation Accountable Care Organization for savings.

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