Florida Blue and Memorial Healthcare form new ACO

Memorial Healthcare and Florida Blue have inked a deal to provide integrated patient care through a new accountable care organization (ACO) called Memorial Health Networks. The new venture includes 1,073 primary and specialty care physicians who will integrate their services to achieve lower costs while meeting quality goals.

The participating doctors, most of whom operate independently across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, have agreed to an ACO compensation structure. That means they’ll share in any cost savings they can achieve through preventive care, patient education and coordination with other medical services.

“We believe the ACO model is the model of tomorrow,” said Memorial Health System Senior Vice President John Benz who led the network’s creation. “Patients will get a higher level of case management, and employers will win because their health plan is a bet with local providers to reduce costs.”

The network doctors will share in a bonus pool if they meet 19 quality benchmarks and exceed a financial target, said Andy Marino, Florida Blue’s vice president of delivery systems. “Doctors know which quality guidelines are important to create better outcomes. This is the kind of medicine they have always wanted to practice — getting paid for thinking about prevention and wellness.”

Florida Blue patients who see one of the ACO’s doctors will receive care that’s coordinated with other network providers and with Memorial’s six hospitals in southern Broward County. The physicians participating in Memorial Health Networks currently serve over 20,000 patients.

The ACO marks the 10th accountable care arrangement between Florida Blue and hospital systems throughout the state, and the fifth in South Florida.

Kaiser health News is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation .

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