Thanks to efforts to improve the health of Medicare patients while also lowering the cost of care, Mercy has doubled the amount of money it saved taxpayers in 2022 − $83.5 million for the year, bringing its five-year total savings to $264.4 million.
In newly released results from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Mercy has a quality score in the top 15% among the 482 Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), and Mercy’s ACO cares for the sixth-largest number of Medicare patients in the U.S.
More than a decade ago, Mercy physicians and nurses were among the first in the nation to voluntarily participate in an ACO to better coordinate care for Medicare patients while eliminating unnecessary costs.
“We have shown we can provide high-quality care at a lower cost by coordinating the care for our patients and making them the focus of everything we do,” said Dr. Gavin Helton, Mercy president of primary care. “We achieved these outstanding scores because our team provides extraordinary care for our patients every day.”
The $83.5 million Mercy’s ACO saved taxpayers in 2022 is the third-highest savings of all ACOs in the U.S. In total, Mercy’s ACO has saved taxpayers more than a quarter billion dollars.
To become an ACO and maintain the designation, Mercy had to score high on specific quality measures and prove that its medical providers sustain streamlined team-based care to Medicare patients. CMS tracks more than 30 quality measures that focus on care coordination, patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations and patient and caregiver experience of care.
“What we have shown through our ACO performance is that coordinated care focused on the overall health of the patient works,” said Steve Mackin, Mercy president and CEO. “These scores prove high-quality care and cost-effective care go hand in hand, which provides exceptional value to Medicare and the patients we are privileged to serve.”