Survey finds CT ACOs planning services for high need members

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Similar to national results, a new survey of Connecticut Accountable Care Organizations for MAPOC’s Complex Care Committee by the CT Health Policy Project finds that most are using multiple methods to identify high need members. But they are still working on implementing effective programs to address the needs. Many of their plans follow best practices identified in other states. ACOs are associations of providers and health systems accountable for the total cost of members’ care. Relatively new, ACOs offer great potential to improve the health of high need members and lower unnecessary costs. The most common strategies being implemented for high-need members include care transition services, intensive care management, medication management, and help accessing social services. Other best practice strategies implemented or in planning include targeting interventions to those who can benefit, team-based care, care planning centered on patient-centered goals, integrating medical, behavioral and social services, robust links to community services, after-hours clinical response, home visits by ACO representatives, and scheduled medical clinics for hard-to-access services. The greatest challenge ACOs reported was patient engagement. Lessons learned include the power of team-based care, resources for outreach, personal face-to-face contact with patients, identifying high risk members for “intensive attention” wherever they touch the system, using wellness visits as a care planning opportunity ,and integrated care meetings. The findings are consistent with the CT Health Policy/Hartford Business Journal’s 2016 ACO survey which found that they prioritize improving population health, quality improvement, and care coordination over cost savings. Click here for the full report and here for the survey tools.