Atlantic Health System today announced it has submitted an application to create a regional accountable-care organization, in hopes of participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ shared savings program.
Called ACOs, accountable-care organizations represent a new approach to health care delivery that seeks to coordinate medical care, engage patients in their own wellness, and improve health and control costs.
“Over the last year, we have worked to develop the framework and relationships necessary for these patients to receive better coordination of their care — and a higher level of quality health care services,” said David J. Shulkin, vice president of Atlantic Health System and administrator of the ACO, in a news announcement. “As health care reform reshapes the landscape, we are also taking a leadership role by planning for the future.”
The Atlantic ACO application includes participation from more than 1,200 physicians in five counties: Sussex, Morris, Union, Somerset and Bergen. As part of the organization, Atlantic Health’s three hospitals — Morristown, Overlook and Newton Medical Centers — will partner with The Valley Hospital, in Ridgewood, which recently formed the Valley Health System Regional ACO. If the application is accepted, Atlantic ACO will begin operating April 1.
Audrey Meyers, president and CEO of The Valley Hospital, said her hospital is excited to bring together the expertise of four hospitals.
“Working together to provide coordinated, high-quality care helps ensure that patients get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services,” Meyers said in prepared remarks.