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Monarch HealthCare to participate in new Medicare initiative

The program is expected to improve the experience and quality of patient care

By Jessica BerriePublished: January 09, 2012 01:30 PM

Irvine’s Monarch HealthCare has been chosen as one of the first providers to participate in a new healthcare initiative. Sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Pioneer ACO Model will test new payment models with the goal of reducing Medicare costs. Monarch is the only Orange County organization that was asked to take part in the program, and one of only 32 organizations in the country that will participate in the three-year initial agreement plan.

“We are honored that Medicare officials have selected Monarch Healthcare to participate in this important program dedicated to creating a sustainable health care model that enhances the patient experience and improves outcomes,” said Dr. Jay Cohen, executive chairman for Monarch HealthCare. “Monarch has long been committed to providing … high-quality, affordable care for our community, and we look forward to building upon that success as part of the Pioneer ACO Model.”

Under the Pioneer ACO Model, Monarch will work to develop Accountable Care Organization (ACO) operations for its patients. ACOs are designed to be a new grade of healthcare providers committed to administering high quality care to Medicare beneficiaries at a lower cost. According to the Innovations Center, there will be incentives for participating ACOs to achieve high Medicare cost savings by allowing eligible organizations to use different payment models.

“These Pioneer ACOs represent our nation’s leaders in health systems innovation, providing highly coordinated care for patients at lower costs,” said Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of CMS. “Monarch HealthCare has demonstrated significant experience in providing high quality, coordinated care, and we are excited to partner with them.”

The Pioneer ACO Model will hold participating ACOs financially accountable for the care of their patients. Standards will be based on patient outcomes and care coordination, ensuring that patients have access to high quality medical care.

“This is very good news not only for Monarch HealthCare, but for Medicare beneficiaries in California,” said Dr. Bart Asner, CEO of Monarch HealthCare. “We are confident that our innovative approach to enabling greater coordination among physicians will allow us to further enhance the exceptional care our patients receive from their Monarch physicians today.”

More information about the Pioneer ACO Program can be found at the CMS website.

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