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Meritage Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

In January 2013, Meritage Medical Network was designated as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) by Medicare. One of the most publicized facets of the Affordable Care Act, ACOs seek to provide quality care while keeping costs low. With 55 percent of the US population living within an area serviced by 227 ACOs, it’s important for anyone seeking out a healthcare provider to understand how this program works.

An ACO is a network of healthcare providers that share responsibility and work collaboratively to provide care for a group of patients. For all patients, an ACO is designed to improve quality of care and reduce costs. Intended to hold providers jointly accountable for the health of their patients, there is a strong incentive for cooperation and avoidance of unnecessary tests and procedures. For Medicare patients, ACOs create opportunities for better quality of healthcare. Putting the patient at the center of care, doctors will be better able to keep them informed, listen to their needs and helping them to make the right decisions for their health.

While designed to be a flexible healthcare model, in general ACOs should:

● Possess sufficient infrastructure and management to support comprehensive care

● Share information seamlessly between providers in the network for the benefit of the patients and providers

● Utilize health information technology to manage patients across the continuum of care and within different institutional settings.

Cost savings anticipated by the Congressional Budget Office are projected at approximately 5.3 billion during 2010-2019. However, the true value of an ACO lies in the improvement of our healthcare system. Insuring accountability by quality performance measures such as care coordination, patient safety, and appropriate use of preventive health services ACOs are a step towards managing our healthcare dollars and delivering effective quality care to all Americans.

ACO Name and Location:

Meritage ACO
4 Hamilton Landing, Suite 100
Novato, CA 94949

ACO Primary Contact:

Marcy Norenius, MPH
ACO Project Manager
mnorenius@meritagemed.com
415-884-1825

Composition of ACO:

Network of individual practices of ACO professionals

ACO Participants:

Download the Provider Roster

ACO Governing Body:
  • Keith Chamberlin, M.D., M.B.A, Voting Member, President, & Chair, Anesthesiologist
  • Joseph Habis, M.D., Voting Member & Medical Director, Internal Medicine Physician with Prima Medical Group
  • Mark Wexman, M.D., Voting Member & Treasurer, Cardiologist with Cardiovascular Center of Marin
  • Clinton Lane, M.D., Voting Member & Secretary, Internal Medicine Physician in Sonoma Valley
  • Ed Johnson, Voting Member, Medicare Beneficiary Representative
  • Jon Friedenberg, Voting Member, Marin General Hospital Representative
ACO Committees and Key Leadership Personnel:
  • ACO Board of Directors: Keith Chamberlin, MD, MBA, Chair
  • Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee: Joseph Habis, MD, Chair
  • Compliance Committee: Joel Criste, Chair
  • Steering Committee: Keith Chamberlin, MD, Chair
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Committee: Larry Posner, MD, Chair
  • Home Health Committee: Joseph Habis, MD, Chair
  • Medical Director: Joseph Habis, MD
  • Director of Care Management: Andrea Kmetz, RN
Amount of Shared Savings/Losses:
  • Performance Year 1: $0
  • Performance Year 2: TBD
  • Performance Year 3: TBD
How Shared Savings Are Distributed:
  • Repay investment by Meritage Medical Network
  • Remaining Dollars:
    • Reinvest in infrastructure: 50%
    • Distribution to ACO Participants: 50%
      • Primary Care Professionals: TBD
      • Specialists: TBD
      • Hospital: TBD
Quality Performance Results

2013 Performance Summary Statistics

Performance Measure

ACO Performance Rate

Mean Performance Rate for All ACOs

Risk Standardized, All Condition Readmissions (ACO-8)

14.02

14.90

ASC Admissions: COPD or Asthma in Older 8 Adults (ACO-9)

0.5

1.17

ASC Admission: Heart Failure (ACO-10)

0.91

1.20

Percent of Primary Care Providers who Qualified for EHR Incentive Payment (ACO- 11)

69.09

66.21

For more information on how to interpret scores on the above quality performance measures, see http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-ServicePayment/sharedsavingsprogram/Downloads/MSSP-QM-Benchmarks.pdf