Healthcare Business News

Texas ACO reports positive first-year results

By Ashok Selvam
Posted: August 31, 2011 - 4:00 pm ET

More than a year after launching its accountable care initiative in partnership with Cigna, the Medical Clinic of North Texas reports improvements in treatment quality and decreased costs compared with other providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

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MCNT and Cigna Corp. partnered in 2009, and a Cigna news release detailed the ACO's performance in its first year. MCNT improved its use acceptance of evidence-based medicine, resulting in MCNT doctors performing better than other physicians in the area by 6 percentage points, based on National Committee for Quality Assurance metrics.

In addition, MCNT's readmission rate has dropped 2% since the alliance was formed, according to the release. Patients taking advantage of extended office hours resulted in additional primary-care office visits, the release noted, and fewer MRI, CT and PET scans helped MCNT achieve a medical cost trend more than 2 percentage points lower than other healthcare providers in the area.

Cigna compared its approximately10,000 clients at MCNT with its 255,390 clients across the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area to measure the performance of its alliance with MCNT, Cigna spokesman Mark Slitt said. The use of a care coordinator—a staff nurse who helps facilitate communication by sharing patient information with the hospital and reaches out to patients—contributed to MCNT's improved metrics, according to Cigna.

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