Caravan Health started the year by announcing its Rural Risk-Free Solution. This solution was designed for every rural hospital caught between declining revenue and increasing costs. Caravan Founder and Executive Chair, Lynn Barr, announced the new resource that covers 100% of downside risk for every eligible rural provider participating in a Caravan Health-supported ACO. The Rural Risk-Free Solution got Caravan Health and its rural providers off to a promising start with the message that risk doesn’t have to be risky with value-based payment.
Soon after that announcement, the novel coronavirus invaded our nation – and our world – and effectively disrupted health care and life as we knew it. Caravan Health serves clients in both rural and urban areas and quickly pivoted to not only supporting Caravan ACOs, clients, and communities, but also began providing education and resources as providers everywhere began to prepare for and battle an unfamiliar virus that had no known cure.
Caravan Health focuses on numbers and by using data and implementing analytics, strives to improve outcomes for patients and providers including improved health outcomes, decreased ED visits, lowered overall costs while generating new, sustainable revenue with value-based care.
Below are some highlights of how the numbers stacked up in 2020 – the year of the pandemic:
As COVID-19 became a harsh reality, Caravan Health created a COVID-19 Resource Page that included resources for providers and staff. In a span of 54 days from March to May, Caravan made 100 new content assets available.
Caravan’s collective team of staff experts along with its CEO, Founder, and Medical Officers began offering support, information, and best practice suggestions in an interactive COVID-19 Educational Webinar Series. In addition to two non-pandemic related webinars, Caravan produced 17 COVID-19 related webinars and responded to dozens of questions from participants in each webinar.
Virtual Education/Virtual Care
With Medicare allowing more access to telehealth and virtual care services, these new options were quickly adopted by providers across the nation.
As telehealth was increasingly incorporated into staff workplans across the country, Caravan Health produced a Virtual Care Guide – a resource that providers and staff not only used to implement and educate staff but to also educate patients as to how to leverage technology and virtual care. One of the more notable virtual successes this year was the adaption of the AWV to telehealth. Caravan supported this expanded service with its Quickstart Guide to Telehealth Annual Wellness Visits.
Caravan also pivoted to virtual educational sessions which included: 2,426 total attendees, 564 who claimed continuing education, eight virtual QIWS’ were held, nine virtual physician meetings and CCM, AWV and PHN Health Coaching were all offered virtually and/or on demand.
Caravan ACOs continued its unprecedented success by bringing home $50 million in shared savings for the 2019 performance year. The average Caravan ACO earned 94% in quality scores and 95% in MIPS scores in 2019, and despite the pandemic conditions, were demonstrating that they were well-equipped to manage the public health emergency (PHE). Over the summer, Caravan produced a white paper specifically addressing how ACOs can weather a pandemic.
There were a lot of policy changes keeping us busy in 2020. Congress and CMS reacted quickly to the growing COVID public health emergency with a series of new laws and regulations to expand telehealth, pay for testing and vaccine development, and provide financial relief to struggling businesses and American workers. In July, Caravan clients were awarded more than $2 million in FCC telehealth funding to help level the playing field for their underserved and/or disadvantaged communities in delivering virtual care.
CMS also issued details of a new value-based payment model for rural providers, called the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) model. The new model includes two tracks, the Community Transformation Track and the ACO Transformation Track and builds on the success of the ACO Investment Model (AIM) which ran from 2016 to 2018. AIM saved $382 million for Medicare over three years and is the most successful model to come out of CMS. Caravan is proud to have sponsored half the AIM ACOs which were responsible for 60% of the savings.
Resources and Advocacy Action Steps
Throughout the PHE, Caravan Health has continued to advocate for our clients to be heard in Washington. We urged Congress to approve the $50 million grant program for rural virtual care. We also weighed in on the future of the 340B drug discount program, the rising thresholds for Advanced APMs, and the latest Physician Fee Schedule.
There was also internal news to celebrate despite the challenging year. Caravan Founder and Executive Chair, Lynn Barr, was named to Modern Healthcare’s 2020 Class of Top 25 Innovators. Barr was recognized for helping to reshape the health care industry.
2020 Virtual Accountable Care Symposium
We wrapped up the unpredictable year in a predictable way by hosting our fifth annual Accountable Care Symposium. This year’s theme was, ‘Opening New Doors to the Future of Health Care’ and by the end of the four-day conference, nearly 600 participants had heard from 49 speakers on topics ranging from the political landscape of health care, best practices for team-based care, HCC coding, technology and data resources coming in 2021. The wide range of presentations included topics on the social determinants of health, sustainable operations during a pandemic, health and techequity, and how to build and maintain trust within organizations.
As we look ahead to 2021, a year where we can expect to have a COVID-19 vaccine available and perhaps a return to a semblance of normalcy, we are already anticipating Caravan’s unveiling of Coach, the new value-based care software designed to helphospitals and FQHCs with limited budgets meet the growing needs of their communities. The software integrates all the data, workflows, and knowledge needed into one, easy-to-use platform to help providers achieve standout value-based care performance.
The 2021 Physician Fee Schedule includes extensions of some telehealth flexibilities, dramatic reductions in the numbers of ACO quality measures and changes to reporting methods that report through MIPS and Caravan Health will continue to be strong advocates for accountable care and our clients. The CHART model will be implemented which further encourages rural participation in value-based payments.
Looking Ahead to 2021
We learned much this year about the resiliency of our industry, our clients, their patients, and the communities they serve. We also learned just how deep the level our commitment to accountable care and value-based payment reaches. We have taken our 2020 Symposium theme seriously and we plan to help our clients and the health care industry open new doors to the future of health care. Plans are already underway for the 2021 Virtual Accountable Care Symposium.