Health Care
Dec 15, 2023

Best in the State: Providing Quality Care to Medicare and Medicaid Patients Allows Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Reinvest in Community

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I’m thrilled to share that Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center ranked No. 1 last year in high-quality local health care for the federal Medicare & Medicaid programs in North Carolina. In fact, we were third in the nation.

Just as important, we saved the government and taxpayers more than $4.7 million in our Medicare and Medicaid programs in 2022. This came about through the performance of  Physician Quality Partners (Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Accountable Care Organization, or ACO) – an organization I chair. 

If you don’t work in health care, you may not have heard of ACOs. They provide a unique strategy to ensure hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers offer coordinated, high-quality care to their Medicare patients at the best value. 
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ranks hospitals and providers on how efficient we are with federal dollars – and rewards us financially for being good stewards of those dollars. 

Last year, because of the $4.7 million we saved, Novant Health received a payment of $2.3 million from the government.    
And we took those funds and reinvested them  here to help fund key positions that help them care for the community. That includes:

  • Care managers, who provide direct outreach to some of our most disadvantaged and sickest patients.
  • Community health workers, who go into the homes of our patients, including those with chronic diseases like uncontrolled diabetes, to provide care. They also connect patients to outside resources for help with food and transportation. 
Throughout Novant Health, we’re proud to practice value-based healthcare, meaning all our patients get the care they need, when they need it. At the same time, we’re working hard to control costs. 

Shared success, shared savings 

ACOs strive to provide appropriate preventive care – controlling high blood pressure, managing diabetes – to Medicare and Medicaid patients so they avoid unnecessary ER visits. We’d rather help patients stay healthy than treat them once they’re sick. It’s better for them and a key to controlling health care costs.

I salute my colleagues in Novant Health’s ACO in Charlotte for being ranked second in North Carolina. Our two ACOs achieved a combined savings of more than $27 million for the government.  

Last year, Novant Health’s Charlotte ACO generated a total savings of over $22.8 million for CMS, which led to a $11.2 million payment to Novant Health, which also gets reinvested into community health workers and initiatives.
  
I’m extremely proud of our team for providing high-quality care while effectively managing costs. We remain committed to creating a healthier future for our communities. These quality rankings are a testament to that commitment.  

Dr. Charin Hanlon, an internist at Novant Health Internal Medicine Wilmington, serves as Physician Quality Partners ACO’s chairman.

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