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  • Steward Physicians and Nashoba Valley Medical Center Join Innovative MassHealth Program to Improve

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    November 20, 2017
    Steward Physicians and Nashoba Valley Medical Center Join Innovative MassHealth Program to
    Improve Health Care Outcomes for Members

    As part of new Steward Health Choice health plan for MassHealth patients, local Steward doctors and Nashoba Valley Medical Center will play key roles in improved,
    local MassHealth care coordination
    Ayer, MA – Through the new Steward Health Choice health plan designed and tailored to better serve MassHealth patients, Nashoba Valley region physicians within the rapidly expanding Steward Health Care Network, along with Nashoba Valley Medical Center, will be at the forefront of a major statewide restructuring of the MassHealth program aimed at further improving care coordination and outcomes for MassHealth patients. Hundreds of physicians in the region will participate in Steward Health Choice.
    Effective March 1, 2018, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) like those originally pioneered within the Steward Health Care Network for Medicare and commercial patients will now be available to help improve the experience and outcomes of MassHealth members. This ACO model is being adopted by Steward and several providers across the state.
    “We are excited to welcome MassHealth patients into our new ACO plan, Steward
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    Health Choice,” said Mark Girard, MD, President of Steward Health Care Network. “It’s wonderful that the MassHealth patients in the communities Nashoba Valley Medical Center serves will have access to this superior form of health coverage that for too long was limited only to Medicare and commercial patients. We applaud the state for these reforms.”
    More information is available at https://stewardhealthchoice.org/
    # # #
    Steward Health Care Network (SHCN) provides world class care to more than two million patients annually. SHCN's approximately 4,800 providers include both primary care physicians and a full range of specialists who are committed to meeting the needs of our patients. Established in 2008 as the physician network for the hospitals of Steward Health Care System, SHCN extends across ten states and takes pride in its community-based care model, which drives value-added tools and services to our communities, patients, physicians and hospitals across the continuum of care. In addition, SHCN promotes care coordination and collaboration within the network in order to provide high quality, efficient care to patients. With Steward in the community, all residents can be sure that there is a world class doctor close to where you live.

    The network is also responsible for the implementation and execution of Steward’s managed care contracts, medical management services, quality improvement programs, data analysis and information services.
    About Nashoba Valley Medical Center
    Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC) offers community-based primary care and specialty services. NVMC was awarded its third consecutive A, the highest grade possible, in hospital safety by The Leapfrog Group for the Fall 2017 assessment period. The hospital was a recipient of the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval and was named to Leapfrog’s annual list of Top Hospitals in 2014. Areas of clinical strength include emergency medicine, diagnostic imaging, geriatric psychiatry, cardiology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, oncology, orthopedics, physical therapy and general surgery. NVMC also offers a comprehensive Center for Pain Management, Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Travel Clinic and Occupational Health Services. Nashoba Valley Medical Center is part of Steward Health Care, which is a fully integrated national health care services organization committed to providing the highest quality of care in the communities where its patients live. Steward operates 36 community hospitals in ten states that employ approximately 37,000 people and regularly receives top awards for quality and
    safety. The Steward network includes more than 26 urgent care centers, 42 preferred skilled
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    nursing facilities, substantial behavioral health services, over 7,300 beds under management, and more than 1.1 million covered lives through the company’s managed care and health insurance services. Additional information is available at www.nashobamed.org.
    Additional background form MassHealth on the new ACO options available for MassHealth patients:
    The new ACO reforms support MassHealth’s commitment to:
    • Improve quality and member experience and integrate the full spectrum of care including medical care, behavioral health and long term services and supports (LTSS)
    • Provide clinical and community based support for populations with behavioral health and long term health care needs,
    • Shift incentives to hold providers accountable for quality and total cost of care for a population of patients,
    • Invest in primary care and community workforce development,
    • Allow for innovative ways of addressing the social determinants of health, and
    • Expand access to substance misuse disorder treatment, including treatment for co-occurring disorders.
    The state’s ACO program is a major component in its five-year innovative 1115 Medicaid waiver bringing in $1.8 billion in new federal investments to restructure the current MassHealth system. ACOs will receive more than $100 million in new investments throughout the remainder of 2017 to support the transition of health care providers providing value-based care. Funds will be used to:
    • Improve electronic health records and ACO analytic capabilities,
    • Reduce avoidable inpatient and emergency department utilization, and
    • Implement other key initiatives for ACOs to improve health outcomes and member experience under the new payment models. 
    Member enrollment in ACOs will be based upon their relationship with their current primary care provider to ensure continuity of care.  All ACO models support MassHealth’s commitment to invest in community based organizations, referred to as certified community partners for behavioral health and long term services and supports. 
    Additional information on MassHealth’s planned restructuring and payment reforms for its 1.9 million members may be found on the MassHealth Innovations website at www.mass.gov/hhs/masshealth-innovations.
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    The development and implementation of the ACO program is being supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-12-001 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.
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