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Saving Medicare Dollars and Providing Better Service

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Toledo-based ProMedica Physician Group, Inc. is one of four organizations in Ohio to have been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide better care for Medicare beneficiaries at a lower cost.

ProMedica Physician Group was one of 89 providers in the country that began participation in the new Medicare Shared Savings Program on July 1.

"This innovative cost-saving program is based on coordinated care for our Medicare recipients," said Congresswoman Kaptur. "Coordinated care can mean better service for Medicare beneficiaries while saving taxpayer dollars."

The Shared Savings Program is purely voluntary for the providers and Medicare beneficiaries will keep their own doctors if they wish.

Kaptur said the program was one of the cost-saving innovations included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Medicare officials have estimated the program could save taxpayers as much as $940 million over the next four years.

ProMedica Physician Group entered into an agreement with the federal government to provide service as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

An ACO is formed by groups of doctors and other health care providers who work together to coordinate care for people with Medicare coverage. The ACOs take responsibility for the quality of care they provide Medicare patients in return for the opportunity to share in any savings that are realized through coordinated care delivery.

"We applaud every one of these doctors, hospitals, health centers and others for working together to ensure millions of people with Medicare get better, more patient-centered, coordinated care," said Secretary Sebelius.

To ensure that cost savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely, an ACO must meet quality standards. For 2012, CMS has established 33 quality measures relating to care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care.

ProMedica Physician Group is comprised of ACO group practices as well as networks of individual ACO practices. It has 250 physicians and serves Medicare beneficiaries in Ohio and Michigan .

The 89 ACOs announced today bring the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 154, including the 32 ACOs participating in the testing of the Pioneer ACO Model by CMS's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) announced last December, and six Physician Group Practice Transition Demonstration organizations that started in January 2011. In all, as of July 1, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives.

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