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Advocate Aurora Health's ACOs Save Taxpayers $61 Million Through Key Medicare Program

Savings reflect commitment to improving quality and outcomes, reducing cost of care

Downers Grove, IL and Milwaukee, WI — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today announced that Advocate Aurora Health's three affiliated Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) combined saved taxpayers $61 million through the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in 2018 ‐ while ranking among the largest ACOs in the nation. The ACOs achieved the highest taxpayer savings in Illinois and the second highest in Wisconsin.

“Our relentless pursuit of safety, quality and affordability, depends on us transforming the way we deliver care,” said Jim Skogsbergh, president and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health. “Our pledge to bend the cost curve is only achievable if we make the right investments in people, technology and infrastructure. Our success in this program demonstrates we're doing what we need to do to reduce the cost of care and improve the communities we're privileged to serve.”

Caring for over 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the program, several initiatives across Advocate Aurora's continuum of care contributed to improved patient outcomes and cost savings. Notable wins included:

  • Expansion of predictive analytics and care management programs that identify patients at high risk for hospitalization or readmission and facilitate interventions to reduce incidences of adverse and costly health events
  • Reduction in skilled nursing facility and home health expenditures due to effective and continued partnerships with the Post Acute Network and Home Health program.
  • Investments in initiatives that address social determinants of health and deploy resources to assist patients experiencing food insecurity, housing insecurity and other factors that contribute to unnecessary health care utilization.
  • Improvements in primary care services, preventive health services and wellness visits in alignment with a clinical integration program.

“These results reflect our unwavering commitment to advance innovative strategies that improve quality and health outcomes and reduce the cost of care,” said Dr. Gary Stuck, chief medical officer of Advocate Aurora Health. “We're proud of the team effort and care collaboration required to drive these savings, and we plan to leave no stone unturned so we can better serve our patients and help more people live well.”

MSSP ACOs are offered financial incentives to both improve quality and reduce health spending. When an ACO ‐ a group of doctors, hospitals and other providers that form networks to coordinate patient care ‐ demonstrates that it has achieved certain quality and cost reduction benchmarks, it is rewarded with a share in the savings generated for Medicare.

Advocate Aurora's three ACOs combined received $28 million back from the program, savings that are re-invested in quality improvement programs that ensure patients get the right care at the right time in the right setting.

Advocate Aurora's three affiliated ACOs span both the states it serves, with Advocate Physician Partners Accountable Care, Inc. managing 127,000 Medicare beneficiaries (one of the largest in the country) in Illinois and Accountable Care Organization of Aurora, LLC and Aurora Accountable Care Organization, LLC managing 78,000 and 5,500 Medicare beneficiaries, respectively, in Wisconsin.

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About Advocate Aurora Health

Advocate Aurora Health is one of the 10 largest not-for-profit, integrated health systems in the United States and a leading employer in the Midwest with more than 70,000 employees, including more than 22,000 nurses and the region’s largest employed medical staff and home health organization. A national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, the system serves nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin across more than 500 sites of care. Advocate Aurora is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies and is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology and pediatrics. The organization contributed $2.1 billion in charitable care and services to its communities in 2018. We help people live well.

Media Contacts

Advocate Aurora Health
Mike Riopell
Mike.Riopell@advocatehealth.com