Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)

ACO Investment Model (AIM) Funding: 
Beacon Rural Health was awarded funding by the ACO Investment Model (AIM). The AIM initiative is designed for organizations participating as accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program). AIM is a model of pre-paid shared savings that encourages new ACOs to form in rural and under served areas and to encourage current Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs to transition to arrangements with greater financial risk.

Effective February 17, 2016 Beacon Rural Health is using a portion of the prepaid shared savings to support care coordinator positions at Down East Community Hospital and Mount Desert Island Hospital, both of whom participate in the Shared Savings Program. In the event Beacon Health does not receive shared savings, it will not seek repayment of the funds from either hospital. The Board of Managers has determined that the retention of AIM funds by each hospital in the event shared savings are not achieved is reasonably related to the purposes of the Shared Savings Program as the spend plan will permit the hospitals – two critical access hospitals with limited funds - to fund care coordinator positions that will serve to manage and coordinate care for Shared Savings Program beneficiaries in accordance with Beacon Rural Health redesigned processes that promote patient engagement, evaluate the health needs of the Shared Savings Program beneficiaries, implement standards for beneficiary access and communication, and standardize care coordination processes across the Beacon Rural Health network.  All of the foregoing will serve to lower cost and improve the quality of care delivered to Shared Savings Program beneficiaries and foster a clinically integrated network.  The foregoing arrangement is one for which waiver protection is sought via a Participation Waiver under the Final Waivers in Connection with the Shared Savings Program. 
The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) is an opportunity for Beacon Health to continue our ongoing efforts to enhance quality of care and patient and care team engagement, while making healthcare affordable. On behalf of our partners, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Inland Hospital, Northern Light Maine Coast  Hospital, Northern Light Mercy Hospital, and Northern Light AR Gould Hospital d.b.a.The Aroostook Medical Center we are entering our third year of a Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Selected to participate as a Medicare ACO by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the ACO will build on the work already in progress through Beacon Health’s value-based and integrated care efforts.

The Shared Savings Program is one more way we are continuing to accelerate the pace of clinical transformation to support our patients living their healthiest lives.

As part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, Beacon Health will demonstrate value by meeting 33 standards for high quality care that include patient safety and experience, care coordination, and preventive health.

What should that healthcare experience feel like for our patients?
  • Patients and their caregivers will have a team surrounding and supporting them, no matter where they receive care across the Beacon Rural Health integrated network.Their team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care coordinators, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, and others to proactively deliver care.
  • Patients will receive consistent, coordinated care and communication, and the team will help arrange for specialty care whenever it is needed. For example, FOR a patient who is hospitalized, this team will make contact when they get home to answer any questions about next steps. Or, as another example, a patient living with diabetes who may visit the emergency department to get blood glucose levels under control would be contacted by a nurse care coordinator to help manage medications and stabilize the condition.
  • Patients can count on personalized consistent care that is evidence based and efficient.
Collectively for the past six years, our network of primary and specialty care providers have shifted to a more team-based approach to care delivery that focuses on being more proactive and supporting patients living their healthiest, not just caring for them when they are sick. Providers and care teams across Beacon Health are driving these changes to enhance the care they offer their patients and communities.