Press Release | August 22, 2018

As CMS Pushes ACOs to Take on More Risk for MSSP, Turn-Key Health Points to Home-Based Palliative Care as a Value-Based Strategy

PHILADELPHIA – August 22, 2018Turn-Key Health (TKH), an affiliate of Enclara Healthcare, serving health plans, provider organizations and their members who are experiencing a serious or advanced illness, advises accountable care organizations (ACOs) to introduce home-based palliative care as a strategy for achieving success in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Turn-Key’s community-based palliative care model, which can be rapidly deployed in any geographic area and scaled for larger populations, is designed to meet the needs of seriously ill individuals and their families outside of the hospital setting. This enables ACOs to quickly introduce options that are proven to lower costs and improve patient outcomes, with enhanced quality of life for individuals and their caregivers.

Randall Krakauer, M.D., member of the Advisory Board to TKH, says, “Populations of people who have a serious or advanced illness place incredible strain on ACO resources, compromising their ability to improve care while generating shared savings under the MSSP model. By adopting a newer approach, such as Turn-Key’s Palliative Illness Management program, ACOs can turn this high cost population into an opportunity, improving quality and patient satisfaction while reducing cost and generating shared savings through reduced unnecessary admissions, readmissions, ICU stays and other such services that are not helpful in such situations. This type of innovation will be a necessary condition for ACOs to operate successfully under the newly proposed risk models.”

The proposed rule issued by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shrinks the amount of time ACOs can be in an upside-only model to two years. Currently, 82 percent of ACOs participating in the MSSP are in an upside-only model.

Dr. Krakauer adds, “A systematic approach to community-based palliative care delivery can effectively manage the most vulnerable and costliest member populations. This strategy enables ACOs to improve patient quality of care and experience, decrease caregiver burden, and lower the total cost of care. Given the new CMS requirements around risk sharing, ACOs should programmatically focus on the extraordinary healthcare needs within the growing senior and baby boomer population. Programs such as this represent the greatest opportunity for effective impact at the intersection of quality and cost.”

Greer Myers, president, Turn-Key, points to this specialized care as an extension of medical practices within the ACO, adding, “Our community-based palliative care network team members act as an extension of the primary treating physician, and strengthen the medical home. The palliative nurses and social workers establish goals of care, provide supportive home-based care and assess patient and caregiver status, reporting relevant information to the primary treating physician to fill gaps in care and better align goals with care received.”

About Turn-Key Health
Turn-Key Health, a subsidiary of Enclara Healthcare, serves health plans, provider organizations and their members who are experiencing a serious or advanced illness. Its Palliative Illness Management™ (PIM™) model introduces a new, innovative option to improve care quality, address costs and reduce burdens associated with life-limiting illnesses.

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