Primary care-based ACO shows promise

January 25, 2011

A San Antonio, Texas Accountable Care Organization with a network of Patient-Centered Medical Home clinics but no hospital provides comprehensive, efficient, quality care that improves outcomes, according to results of a case study.

A San Antonio, Texas Accountable Care Organization with a network of Patient-Centered Medical Home clinics but no hospital provides comprehensive, efficient, quality care that improves outcomes, according to the results of a case study by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies.

Robert Phillips Jr., MD, MSPH, director of the center, studied data from 2000 through 2008 provided by WellMed Medical Group, which has more than 87,000 patients and plan members.

Each patient has a primary care physician who provides diagnosis, treatment, referral to subspecialists and coordination of all care. Each physician cares for fewer than 500 patients, on average, and works with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, health coaches and social services workers. WellMed improved preventive care for the conditions measured and achieved high guideline compliance for diabetes and blood pressure, and mortality rates remained well below the state average, according to authors.

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