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Thousands of Michigan doctors join statewide effort to improve the health of people covered by Medicare

All U-M faculty physicians and hundreds of others join POM ACO, an Accountable Care Organization founded under the Affordable Care Act

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 2,900 Michigan doctors have joined a growing organization that seeks to improve the health and health care of Michiganders covered by Medicare -- while also saving taxpayer dollars.

Those joining the initiative, called POM ACO, include the 1,700 physicians of the University of Michigan Medical School's Faculty Group Practice, and nearly 900 other U-M Health System health care providers.

Now, they and others have joined up with the 1,900 previously existing members of POM ACO, which stands for the Physician Organization of Michigan ACO, LLC. POM ACO is an Accountable Care Organization formed under the Medicare Shared Savings Program and authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

In all, POM ACO now includes 5,700 providers from 12 physician groups based in 22 counties. Together, they will be responsible for improving the care and health of more than 120,000 Michigan residents covered by Medicare.

Building on success

The U-M FGP already has eight years of experience as leaders in the movement to make traditional Medicare better and more efficient at the same time.

Previously, the U-M physicians and several hundred others from the IHA group in Washtenaw County succeeded in curbing costs while improving quality through a different Medicare ACO, called a Pioneer ACO.

And before that, the U-M physician group showed the power of the ACO model through a five-year Medicare demonstration project that saved Medicare millions and improved the quality of care.

The move more than doubles the size of POM ACO, which was launched in January 2013 as a joint venture of the U-M Health System and eight other physician groups. The new members include physicians from groups that had not previously taken part in an ACO – including MidMichigan Health, which is affiliated with UMHS.

"Our commitment to improving the health of individuals and populations, and containing the growth of health care costs, grows even stronger with this transition, and we're glad to be joined by so many like-minded physicians and providers across the state," says David Spahlinger, M.D., executive director of the U-M Faculty Group Practice and chair of the POM ACO board.

"By working together to share information, best practices and ideas, we will continue to help improve traditional Medicare," he explains.

He adds that Michiganders whose doctors have joined POM ACO should notice only positive impacts.

This may include better coordination of care between primary care and specialty doctors, better follow-up after hospitalizations, and more support available between visits.

Each Medicare beneficiary whose physician has joined POM ACO will receive a letter in coming weeks.

The groups with providers participating in POM ACO now include:

  • Advantage Health/Saint Mary's Care Network
  • Crawford Mercy Physician Hospital Organization
  • Huron Valley Physicians Association (HVPA)
  • IHA
  • Lakeshore Health Network
  • MidMichigan Health
  • Oakland Southfield Physicians
  • Olympia Medical Services
  • Physicians' Organization of Western Michigan
  • United Physicians
  • University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice and other U-M Health System clinicians
  • Wexford Physician Hospital Organization

Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program, POM ACO can share in any savings it achieves above a target set by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

For more information on POM ACO, visit www.pom-aco.com

For more information on the U-M Health System's population health efforts, visit http://umhealth.me/ACOpop

For more information on the Medicare Shared Savings Program, visit www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/sharedsavingsprogram/index.html 

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System

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