Medicare Accountable Care a 'Learning Effort': Burwell

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Source: Modern Healthcare

New York's Montefiore Medical Center, the most financially successful of Medicare's most sophisticated accountable care organizations, may bypass what HHS officials are calling the next generation of the evolving payment model to instead concentrate on expanding its use of full capitation for patients.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell traveled to New York on Thursday to praise officials at Montefiore, which earned bonuses of $27 million during the first two years of Medicare's Pioneer accountable care program, more than any of its peers.

Burwell, in a press briefing, touted Montefiore's performance and New York's embrace of new healthcare financing models as she promoted rapid federal expansion of accountable care, including the newly announced “next generation” to begin next January. Details of exactly what provider risk the next generation will entail have been sparse.

For Montefiore, however, the next iteration of Medicare accountable care may not be the best option, said Dr. Steven Safyer, the system's CEO.

Safyer said he would review the option, but Montefiore instead is working to aggressively expand its use of full capitation for patients and that will be its priority. Montefiore is seeking to have all Medicare and Medicaid patients under full capitation by 2018, he said.

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