Florida’s ACOs Form Collaborative Association
By Space Coast Medicine and Active Living // May 29, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – The Accountable Care Organizations in Florida have joined together to form the Florida Association of ACOs (FLAACOs). With more than a dozen ACOs in Florida up and running, FLAACOs’ mission is for members to collaborate to ensure that each organization grows and thrives.
The newly formed association is aligning goals to shift physician incentives and improve health-care outcomes across the state.
The founding members include Orange Accountable Care, American Health Alliance, Medical Practitioners for Affordable Care, Nature Coast ACO, Collaborative Care of Florida, Physicians Collaborative Trust ACO , ProCare Med, Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization, South Florida Accountable Care Organization, Primary Partners, Primary Partners ACIP, BAROMA Health Partners, and Diagnostic Clinic Walgreens Well Network.
In Brevard County, Medical Practitioners for Affordable Care (MPAC) was approved last July and comprised of 145 participating local physicians.
“We have engaged a very high quality, well motivated group of physicians who, through the Shared Savings Program, will work with CMS to provide Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with high quality patient-centered service and care, while reducing the growth in Medicare expenditures through enhanced care coordination,” said MPAC Chief Operating Officer, Brenda Radke.
Gaining Momentum Across the Nation
The Accountable Care approach to health-care delivery is varied but the overall aim is to provide financial incentives for coordinating and holistically managing care. After years of national debate and industry conferences targeting fundamental change, ACOs are gaining momentum across the nation and the state of Florida.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have paved the way for ACOs with the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). In only three months since January’s third wave of MSSP- approved ACOs were announced, physician-focused and patient-centered groups from Tallahassee to Miami have begun building infrastructures with new technology and staff.
This program will help Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses benefit from ACO care coordination efforts – less duplication of services and greater attention to medication and treatment plans – and hospital administrators in Florida are also eyeing the ACO goal of reduced readmission rates.
“We are excited to create a community of ACOs in Florida where we can share ideas and best practices, as well as advocate within the state and nationally,” said Nicole Bradberry, Chief Executive Officer of FLAACOs and President of Orange Health Solutions, which fully manages two ACOs in North and Central Florida and provides services to others.
“Our goal, with this association, is to provide advocacy and support to all Florida ACOs so they can become the health-care models of the future.”
Community To Provide A Voice
However, this is just the start. Most commercial payers and many other health-care entities are also developing ACO strategies, and FLAACOs will create a community to provide a voice for the ACO marketplace and its participating physicians.
“We are very pleased the ACOs in Florida are moving so quickly to establish an environment where solutions to the rapidly evolving health environment can be shared,” said Mike Barrett, Chairman of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOs).
“NAACOsst looks forward to providing all the support and access via national arrangements and partnerships to FLAACO and their members. The leadership of FLAACO should be commended for their efforts to improve the care of the individual, the health of the population, and of course bend the cost curve.”
Bradberry, along with other Florida ACO leaders, recently held a FLAACOs founders meeting to discuss board officers, board roles and the monthly agenda. These peer-to-peer exchanges will promote uniformity on quality and performance measures and foster growth of accountable care models.
The FLAACO Board of Directors includes Nicole Bradberry, Chief Executive Officer; Brenda Radke, Treasurer/Finance; Kelly Conroy, National & State Liaison; Hymin Zucker, MD, Strategic Partnerships; Larry Jones, Speakers & Events; Scott Backer, Vendor Partners; Balford Francis, Membership; Sheila Fuse, Communications; and Steffanie Wood, Website.
More information about NAACOs can be found at National Association of ACOs.