‘Accountable care’ group approved in region

djournal-medical-news-stockBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

OXFORD – A group of independent North Mississippi health care providers has received Medicare approval to participate as an accountable care organization.

Accountable Physicians of North Mississippi was selected as one of 123 new accountable care organizations to participate in the shared savings program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

“By forming Accountable Physicians of North Mississippi, we are better able to collaborate and create an improved health care delivery model that will improve the patient experience and do it more efficiently,” said organization president and chief medical officer Dr. Ford Dye, who is an Oxford ears, nose and throat specialist.

Accountable care organizations allow health care providers to work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care for their patients while helping to slow health care costs growth. There are more than 360 accountable care organizations across the country. There are four that cover portions of Mississippi.

Unlike an HMO or insurance company network, patients are not limited by accountable care organizations. They are free to see doctors in or out of an accountable care organization.

As part of the shared savings program created by the Affordable Care Act, accountable care organizations share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs when they meet standards for high quality care.

The Accountable Physicians organization is based in Oxford but includes providers in Oxford, Tupelo, Bruce, Grenada, Columbus, West Point and New Albany. The board anticipates the organization will eventually include providers in most northern Mississippi counties.

“The providers within our organization recognize that the U.S. health care delivery model is shifting,” Dye said. “Payment will be based more on quality than quantity of services provided. We must adapt to these changes by enhancing the quality of care while decreasing total health care costs.”

michaela.morris@journalinc.com