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CMC Joins Dartmouth-Hitchcock's ACO

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Expands Pioneer Accountable Care Organization
with Three New Member Health Systems

Broader ACO to offer improved care to beneficiaries
through partnership with Medicare

LEBANON, NH – Three New Hampshire health care organizations have joined Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO), bringing to five the total of members of the Pioneer ACO.

Catholic Medical Center of Manchester, St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua, and Exeter Health Resources of Exeter are the three new participating members, joining New London Hospital in Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s recently renamed ACO, “allwelltm.”

The original Dartmouth-Hitchcock Pioneer ACO, now allwelltm, was created in 2011 as one of 32 participants in Medicare’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, designed to encourage the development of networks of doctors and other health care providers who work together to provide high quality, coordinated care for their patients in hopes of limiting unnecessary spending. Participants in the ACO model are required to meet quality standards based upon, among other measures, patient outcomes and care coordination among the provider team. Under the Affordable Care Act, each ACO has to coordinate the health care needs of a minimum of 15,000 Medicare beneficiaries for at least three years.

“We are encouraged that our Pioneer model has shown real gains in providing coordinated, high-quality care for our Medicare patients, while lowering the cost of that care,” said Dr. Barbara Walters, Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Senior Medical Director for Regional Practices, who is leading the allwelltm project. “We believe we're on the right track, and the addition of Catholic Medical Center, Exeter Health Resources and St. Joseph Hospital will enable us to extend those gains as we move away from fee-for-service payment models to a value-based model.”

In its first year of operation, allwelltm was among organizations showing what CMS called “positive and promising results” and generating savings to the federal Medicare health program under the Pioneer model. Dartmouth-Hitchcock also met all quality benchmarks under the program, including monitoring of patients with chronic conditions who may be at risk for complications, ensuring that Medicare patients' preventive health needs are met, and lower hospital admission and readmission rates.

“Developing and testing new payment models like allwelltm and the Pioneer ACO is an important step in moving us toward creating a sustainable health system,” said Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO and President Dr. James N. Weinstein. “Our task now is to take what we’re learning from allwelltm and other Pioneer models, and build it out to improve the health and health care of our population as we move away from the market- and volume-based models to more population health- and value-based models.”

New London Hospital joined allwelltm in January, 2013. The addition of Catholic Medical Center, St. Joseph, and Exeter was effective on January 1, 2014; the four organizations will add approximately 20,000 Medicare beneficiaries to the allwelltm ACO, bringing the total number to 46,700.

“Healthcare delivery will continue to evolve as healthcare organizations adapt to healthcare reform.  CMC’s participation in the allwelltm ACO will enable us to better serve the needs of our community as we look across the continuum of care,” said Dr. Joseph Pepe, President and CEO of Catholic Medical Center.  “We must participate in these types of risk-sharing models to continue to serve our communities best interest, which is to provide the highest patient satisfaction, lowest cost, and best outcomes to our patients, because that is what matters most.”

“Exeter’s participation in the ACO will accelerate our health system's ongoing efforts to develop innovative ways to improve patient care. Additionally, this partnership creates the opportunity to better coordinate the needs of our patients among healthcare providers,” said Kevin Callahan, CEO of Exeter Hospital. “We understand that the healthcare system of this county is in need of change - to make it more affordable, accessible and sustainable; working together with Dartmouth-Hitchcock and other health systems in the state, Exeter is playing an important role in bringing about that change.”

“Lowering costs and improving quality requires organizations to work together to share best practices, reduce variation, make accessing care easier for all and, most importantly, improve the health status of populations of patients in the communities we serve,” stated Dr. Rich Boehler, President and CEO, St. Joseph Healthcare. “Participating in allwelltm allows the combined expertise of many of New Hampshire’s finest healthcare organizations to positively impact the health and wellness of a growing number of New Hampshire residents.”

Dartmouth-Hitchcock has been a leader in developing value-based models of payment for care, including the Physician Group Practice demonstration project that preceded the Pioneer program and several similar projects with private insurers. Dartmouth-Hitchcock has also partnered with Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont to create OneCare Vermont, a similar ACO project under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP.)

ABOUT DARTMOUTH-HITCHCOCK: Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in patient-centered health care and building a sustainable health system. Founded in 1893, the system includes New Hampshire’s only Level 1 trauma center and its only air ambulance service, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only Children’s Hospital Association-approved, comprehensive, full-service children's hospital. As an academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock provides access to nearly 1,000 primary care doctors and specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
ABOUT CATHOLIC MEDICAL CENTER: Catholic Medical Center (or “CMC”) is one of New Hampshire’s largest medical centers, with a commitment to delivering the highest quality and most advanced healthcare to patients.  CMC is also the home of the New England Heart Institute, a leader in the region for advanced cardiovascular and vascular services CMC is also the home of the New England Heart Institute, a leader in the region for advanced cardiovascular and vascular services and the Mom’s Place, delivering new life into our communities every day.  With primary care practices that care for the very young to the young at heart and a commitment to the community through our many outreach programs, CMC is fostering a healthier community, everyday. 
ABOUT EXETER HOSPITAL: Exeter Hospital is a community-based hospital that serves residents from 38 towns in New Hampshire's Seacoast Region. The hospital and its affiliates employ 2,300 area residents and provide millions of dollars annually for community benefits. The hospital has been recognized by Healthgrades with the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence in 2012 and 2013. This recognition places Exeter Hospital in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for patient quality and safety outcomes. For more information, visit exeterhospital.com or call (603) 580-6668.
ABOUT ST. JOSEPH HEALTHCARE: St. Joseph Healthcare is a regional, full-service healthcare system dedicated to providing innovative, high quality healthcare. The main campus, St. Joseph Hospital, is a 208-bed facility combining the latest technologies and personalized medicine with conveniences such as around-the-clock emergency services, comprehensive, specialized treatment and preventive services at the Cardiovascular & Diabetes Center, Breast Care Center, and Cancer Center, a CARF-accredited stroke program at our Rehabilitation Center, and labor and delivery services at the Childbirth Center. We offer an extensive physician network of specialists and primary care providers. Affiliates include St. Joseph Home & Hospice Care.

Contact: Rick Adams (603) 653-1913

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