OneCare Vermont is an excellent example of Vermonters partnering to tackle a complex challenge: lowering the cost of health care and providing even greater quality of care. In our last blog post, we shared what an ACO is, how OneCare Vermont originated, and cleared up some myths about how it operates. Now, we want to discuss how all our partners work together to provide high quality care for Vermont’s Medicare beneficiaries.
Meet the Players
OneCare Vermont is a good example of different parties bringing what they know and do best to a common table. Under the leadership of our region’s largest non-profit care providers, we are committed to working with public and private sector players to achieve high quality, efficient and patient-centered care – and thus improve the health and well-being of Vermonters.
- The State of Vermont works closely with our ACO by helping the many healthcare providers involved in OneCare Vermont develop common approaches to issues wherever possible, through the nationally-recognized Blueprint for Health. We are also partnering with the State to transform health care delivery, through the recently-awarded State Innovation Model (“SIM”) grant of $45 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“CMMI”) and by participating in the Green Mountain Care Board efforts to implement Vermont’s health care reform and protect the public interest as accountable care organizations become active in our state.
- The robust federal Medicare program provides a structured program that allows OneCare Vermont providers to be rewarded for improvement efforts but not penalized as we learn to work together in new ways. Medicare also measures the success of the program in terms of very specific quality measures regarding cost control, quality of care and patient satisfaction.
- Finally, ACOs allow the boots-on-the-ground doctors and hospitals who know the realities of 24/7 patient care to drive real reform. OneCare Vermont’s statewide Clinical Advisory Board and its regional sub-groups will bring the best collective advice and tools available to front line clinicians. This board includes doctors from our largest health centers to our smallest individual practices. The members come from every corner of the state and bring the medical skills needed to make our health care system even better for Vermont’s elders and individuals with disabilities and chronic conditions.
We have been humbled and heartened by how supportive the doctors and hospitals involved in OneCare Vermont have been, including our friends and colleagues at Dartmouth-Hitchcock; not to mention the whole range of Vermonters in a variety of oversight and stakeholder positions who have rolled up their sleeves right along with us. We are reminded daily that it remains possible to reach agreement and move forward boldly on health care reform when we are willing to listen, talk, dream, and work together.
Todd Moore is CEO of OneCare Vermont and Senior Vice President for Accountable Care at the UVM Medical Center. Church Hindes is Vice President for Accountable Care at the UVM Medical Center.
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