Changing how healthcare is delivered in our nation is no small undertaking, but there is little disagreement the system needs change. That is what we’ve been doing at Arizona Connected Care for the past year. As you read through this Year One Report, you’ll see the steps we’ve taken … and the results we’re already achieving.
Just over one year ago, we were officially designated one of the first Accountable Care Organizations in the nation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As leaders in this national movement to improve the healthcare system by ‘bending the cost curve’, we set our focus on wellness and chronic disease management, efforts we believe will improve the quality of life for the people of Southern Arizona.
Rather than cutting back on services, we are offering our patients more: more prevention … and wellness … and communication … and transitions. These efforts are not inexpensive, but we are already demonstrating that an investment in keeping people well, helping those with chronic illnesses control their conditions, and providing care coordination to those who need additional assistance pays off for everyone involved. It simply costs less to help people stay healthy!
Arizona Connected Care is helping lead the way in innovation that is making a difference: patients are receiving the care they need to help them stay healthy longer; physicians have the chance to practice medicine the way they’ve always wanted to, with a focus on individual patient needs; hospitals are caring for those who truly need the specialized care they provide; and the dramatic increases in healthcare costs are being slowed.
We are proud of what we have accomplished this first year:
- We are a physician-driven organization, both in terms of ownership and governance.
- Our core group of participating Primary Care Providers has grown to approximately 200 in this first year.
- We are growing our membership and affiliating with specialists and facilities.
- We can now offer our quality care to UnitedHealthcare patients on commercial plans, not just Medicare patients.
- Tucson Medical Center is a dedicated partner that is investing in the wellness of our community and has played a critical role in helping us move forward.
- Our board of directors is committed to following evidence-based practices and strengthening our internal systems to meet the growing needs of our many constituencies.
- Our supporting medical services organization, Innovative Practices, is providing the staffing and expertise necessary to do our work on behalf of patients throughout Southern Arizona.
It has been a challenging year, but I believe we have laid the foundation required to provide the quality care our patients need and deserve.
John Friend, executive director