Nevada’s Silver State ACO Saved Medicare $48 Million in 2019

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Nevada’s Silver State Accountable Care Organization ranked first in the state for total Medicare savings at $48 million and fifth in the nation for generating a savings of 10.26 percent below benchmark in 2019. This group of physicians, who agree to reduce costs and increase quality through the Medicare’s Shared Savings Program (MSSP), also ranked in the top 1 percent nationally for total Medicare savings generated.

Universal Health Services (UHS) announced the 2019 results of its seven UHS Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), including the Silver State ACO, showing a continued trend of increased cost savings and improved quality. Silver State ACO has participated in Medicare's Shared Savings Program since 2014, earning shared savings every year since 2015. In total, the group has saved more than $118 million in Medicare expenses over the past five years.

The Silver State ACO is physician-led and represents 50 physician practices statewide in Nevada who are incentivized to bend the healthcare cost curve and maintain high quality care. During the past five years, Silver State ACO has continued to grow its team of quality coordinators who have been instrumental in its continued success and whose efforts resulted in achieving a quality score of 96.13 percent.

"The Silver State ACO makes a direct impact on the health of our community," said Karla Perez, Regional Vice President of Universal Health Services. "This program encourages providers to spend extra time with patients ensuring that their needs are being met, which gives a much needed personal touch to healthcare. It’s about building relationships with our patients and all the providers along the continuum of care to ensure every patient receives the right care at the right time in the right setting."

Within the shared savings program, providers can earn back part of the savings they generate for Medicare by achieving predetermined quality of care goals. This model rewards both the patient and physician as the patient receives better healthcare and the physician is incentivized for keeping them as healthy as possible and providing high quality care.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services established the ACO program to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and lower Medicare costs. If an ACO achieves high quality healthcare for its patients and saves money for Medicare, then the ACO shares in those savings.

"Silver State ACO has helped us improve the quality of care for our patients by providing us with valuable data and real-time analytical tools to drive the necessary changes within our practice," said Dr. Thomas Peters. "The ACO has also allowed us to learn and implement best practices by providing a forum where we can learn and share knowledge across all ACO practices."

This collaborative effort with providers and physicians helps ensure patients, especially the chronically ill or those who are or have been hospitalized, obtain the right care at the right time, and avoid unneeded duplication of services such as lab and radiology tests. Meeting the needs of the patient in a timely manner with monitored follow up will help ensure the patient can receive improved quality of care through the ACO network.