“For a model of efficiency, quality care, look at performance of rural hospitals”

From Modern Healthcare:

Today, 26 rural ACOs are improving care and lowering costs under the ACO Investment Model, the second generation of the advance payment model. Twenty-three of these ACOs are operating under Caravan Health’s National Rural ACO program, which is now in its third year in the MSSP. Those 23 ACOs include more than 6,000 clinicians in 159 unaffiliated rural health systems covering 55 rural hospitals, 92 critical-access hospitals, 168 rural health clinics and 39 rural federally qualified health centers serving more than 500,000 Medicare patients.

These dedicated rural providers are bending the cost curve while strengthening the financial health of their organizations. In 2015, the first Caravan National Rural ACO improved its quality score from 69% to 97% in one year and the average savings for the five rural 2015 MSSP organizations was more than $1.1 million, 3.8 times higher than the average for all 2015 MSSP participants.

The evidence clearly shows that small and rural practices are successful in improving care and lowering costs and even outperforming their urban peers. They are nimble and dedicated to the care of their communities.

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