Vermont Business Magazine Nine Vermont communities have chosen to participate in ground-breaking new approaches to health care through partnerships with OneCare Vermont in 2018, according to a provider submission made with both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA). Hospitals, independent physician practices, specialists, skilled nursing facilities, designated mental health and substance use agencies, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), home health providers and area agencies on aging are among those who are participating in population health programs in the coming year. Under this model, participants are moving away from fee-for-service medicine that rewards volume and instead embracing a system that rewards providers for keeping people healthy. With providers being paid differently, there will be increased support for providers to engage with patients to improve quality and patient experience.
Todd Moore, CEO of OneCare, said the 2018 participant agreements are a key milestone in Vermont’s unique population health efforts to keep people healthy rather than treating them only when they are sick.
“This shows real buy-in by health practitioners across the state,’’ said Moore. “We are on our way to a statewide network that focuses on primary care and population health for all Vermonters. It means doctors and hospitals are agreeing to treat patients in a holistic way across the spectrum of their lives. It is an exciting change.”
As CEO of OneCare, Moore runs the state’s largest Accountable Care Organization, or ACO, which was created by the University of Vermont Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health to improve quality of care, improve patient satisfaction and better manage cost of care in Vermont. Moore was also recently named CEO of Adirondacks ACO in northern New York, a partnership with the University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and Hudson Headwaters Health Networks, which operates FQHCs. Moore plans to continue the close partnership OneCare has had with Adirondacks ACO to bring greater coordination across the region.
Nine Vermont communities will participate in OneCare’s Medicaid program in 2018, which will enter its second year, with six of those communities anticipating taking part in all three available payer programs: Medicaid, Commercial and Medicare.
Moore said he was especially pleased that so many independent practices have agreed to take part, including the Thomas Chittenden Health Center, Primary Care Health Partners practices, and others in Richmond, Middlebury and Charlotte.
OneCare anticipates that approximately 120,000 Vermonters will be covered, spanning the length of the state from Newport to Brattleboro, through a partnership between their health care providers and OneCare. Provider participation is diverse and includes:
9 Vermont hospitals
1 New Hampshire hospital
2 Federally Qualified Health Centers
24 independent physician practices
30 independent specialist practices
19 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)
8 home health agencies
6 Designated Agencies for mental health and substance use
9 other specialty providers
2 Area Agencies on Aging
“This is absolutely the direction we need to take to improve care and reduce cost for Vermonters,” said Jill Mazza Olson, executive director of the VNAs of Vermont, the trade association representing Vermont’s not-for-profit home health agencies. “Reducing costs and keeping Vermonters healthier means bringing more care and support to people in their homes and their communities, where they want to be. We are proud to be part of this health care transformation and appreciate the good work OneCare has done to get us to where we are today.”
Moore said now that there is certainty over participating providers, the next step is to refine the budget submitted to the Green Mountain Care Board earlier this summer and make a revised filing on October 20. Moore and a team of practitioners will provide a full briefing for the media, legislators and other interested parties on Oct. 17 at the OneCare offices, 356 Mountain View Drivein Colchester. Details will be provided in the coming weeks.