Published on October 17, 2019

Physician Partnership Helps Continue to Control Medicare Costs

Juggling is a challenging skill yet a group of local health care providers continue to succeed in delivering better care at a lower cost according to a report recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

The providers were members with the Physician Organization of Michigan Accountable Care Organization (POM ACO), a group of ten physician organizations from across Michigan. They saved Medicare more than $43 million in 2018.

Local members of POM ACO who contributed to the success included 70 primary care and 170 specialists associated with MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland, as well as 15 providers associated with MidMichigan Community Health Services, federally qualified health centers based in Beaverton, Houghton Lake and Roscommon.

The effort earned the organization $18.7 million in shared savings, a portion of which will be shared with the providers who participated from around Michigan.

“This report demonstrates that our providers are truly focused on the patient,” said Mary Greeley, vice president of population health. “We demonstrated that we can bring down the cost of health care so it is more affordable for everyone, while maintaining high quality and patient satisfaction scores.”

Greeley continued, “Our participation with POM ACO has made achieving these competing goals possible. By teaming up with high-caliber health systems and providers from around the state, including Michigan Medicine, we’ve been able to learn and share what works to truly benefit patients while avoiding unnecessary costs.”

This is the sixth year in which POM ACO providers have successfully lowered the cost of care to Medicare beneficiaries while at the same time demonstrating outstanding quality. In fact, POM ACO was in the top 10 of shared savings dollars earned in the nation in 2018.

The Medicare Shared Saving Program was introduced in 2012 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. It rewards organizations that lower the growth in health care costs while meeting performance standards regarding the quality of care. Provider participation in the program is purely voluntary, and Medicare patients can seek treatment from any provider they wish.

“It has been a rewarding journey to work together through POM ACO, to provide evidence-based, efficient and coordinated care for our patients, while successfully controlling health care expenditures,” said Madhura Mansabdar, M.D., chief clinical integration officer, MidMichigan Health. “POM ACO brings together the expertise of a world class academic institution with the unique skills of community health systems and rural practices, along with the most important perspective- that of our patients, to improve their lives and health care outcomes.”

Those interested in learning more about the POM ACO may visit www.pom-aco.com