Essentia, Medica launch ACO

Duluth, Minn.-based integrated health system, Essentia Health, and Minnesota payer Medica are teaming up to launch an accountable care organization in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin beginning November 1.

Essentia Health is also participating in Track 3 of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and is one of three ACOs to hold the highest accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

"When health plans and providers work directly together like this, it's a win-win for employers and their employees," Michael Van Scoy, MD, Essentia Health's medical director of population care management, said in a statement. "Employers are able to offer high-quality healthcare to their workers at a lower cost, and employees can get the care they need, when they need it."

To do this, Medica and Essentia plan to offer employees enrolled in the ACO same day primary care appointments, direct access to specialists without a referral, an online tool to track health information and contact physicians, a nurse patient navigator and a single phone number to call for questions about health plan benefits, billing, care and coverage.


More articles on accountable care:

3 Next Generation ACOs head for the door
HHS' Sylvia Burwell: This Iowa town should be the role model for U.S. healthcare
Aetna, Gateway Health in Virginia strike ACO agreement

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