Rush will be the only Chicago-area academic medical center participant, the statement said. The program prioritizes health equity and the reduction of unnecessary medical costs by moving patients away from Medicare's fee-for-service system and toward value-based care.
The deal will expand Rush's presence in the community, make accessing care easier and further develop its value-based medicine contracting, said Dr. Paul Casey, Rush senior vice president and chief medical officer, in an interview with Crain's.
"When we first heard about ACO REACH, we were excited because at the center of it accessibility, equity and coordination of care," Casey said.
He said the CVS program fits into Rush's strategy of expanding into ambulatory care outside of the hospital walls and provides a way to expand its value-based contracting through Rush Health. Rush Health has about 35,000 Medicare-managed care participants, he said.
The collaboration with CVS "provides another option for patients at a time when access to high-quality health care is more important than ever," Dr. Omar Lateef, Rush president and CEO said in the statement. "It will help strengthen care coordination for patients, while enabling them to receive services convenient to where they live and work."
CVS doctors, advanced nurse practitioners and other staff at its retail-based Minute Clinics will connect patients with Rush providers for follow-up primary care and specialty care, the statement said.
Customized care will be offered for Medicare patients who begin their care journey at a Minute Clinic, including home-based care, transportation support for annual wellness visits, cost-sharing to help with co-pays, and other enhanced services and incentives, the statement said.
"CVS Accountable Care is collaborating with Rush for a number of reasons, including their focus on quality as a top-ranking academic medical center," Mohamed Diab, CEO of CVS Accountable Care Organization said in an emailed statement.
CVS also considered "Rush's geographic reach and deep roots in a very important market as well as their alignment on the ACO REACH mission to address health equity and disparity issues and bring value-based care" to Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, he said.
Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS ACO is using the program in urban and rural settings around the nation, collaborating with independent providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and clinically integrated networks, Diab's statement said.
The trick to success for ACOs, Casey said, will be integrating easy, accessible primary care to the kind of acute care and specialized care that patients need, particularly in the Medicare population.