It can be hard to make the numbers work in rural health care. Rural Americans are, on average, older than the general population and are facing more serious chronic health conditions. On top of that, rural America has a shortage of physicians and other health professionals and uneven access to services such as broadband internet services and transportation. Over the past ten years, we have seen more than 100 rural hospitals close, and the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to continue this troubling trend.

Many rural providers may be looking to an accountable care organization as a way to make their business viable into the future. Value-based payment models, such as ACOs, can help meet the needs of rural communities. Here, we list the top six reasons to join a rural ACO with Caravan Health for 2022.

Watch our recent webinar about rural accountable care success here
  1. All providers will have to get into value-based payment before too long.
There is no stopping the movement from payment based on volume to payment based on value, and before long, even rural providers will have to participate. Due to Medicare payment laws, the financial downside to remaining in fee-for-service will soon exceed the risks of transitioning to alternative payment systems. The question is how to get into value-based payment not whether to get into value-based payment.
  1. The AIM program proved that rural value-based payment can work.
The ACO Investment Model (AIM) showed that, with the right support, rural providers can thrive in value-based payment. CMS offered start-up loans to small, rural providers through AIM from 2016 -2018. Those start-up funds were paid back through earned shared savings. The program was a resounding success, saving more than $380 million for Medicare over three years. Caravan sponsored half of rural providers in AIM and earning 60 % of the savings. We are proud of our track record in rural value-based success, and we can help more providers succeed.  
  1. ACO data leads to more 340B discounts.
The federal 340B prescription drug discount program is a pillar of support for safety net hospitals, FQHCs, CAHs, and many rural providers. Most 340B covered entities are missing out on up to 80% of the available discounts. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table for these safety net providers. In a Caravan Health ACO, providers have access to far more prescription drug data on patients, including referral prescriptions written by physicians outside of the clinic walls. The right partner can also help grow your contract pharmacy network, further expanding your reach and gaining even more discounts.  
  1. A team-based approach is better for nurses and physicians.
In a Caravan Health ACO, we start with a team-based approach to transforming care. That approach is foundational to outstanding care quality, more satisfied patients and physicians, and hitting financial targets. Everyone in the ACO, from the office staff to the population health nurses and the physicians leading the care team, has a role to play. When everyone contributes at the top of their license, we find less burnout of physicians and nurses, and a better focus on preventive care. In short, team-based care means everyone wins.
  1. ACO technology tools lead to care quality excellence.
There are a lot of moving parts when running a health practice and no one needs more work to manage. Caravan Health has brought together all the technology tools you need to run an ACO successfully into one platform called Caravan Coach. Coach streamlines the process of tracking and reporting quality information, and also help you to manage your patient population’s health – including 340B eligible prescriptions – so that everything you need is right at your fingertips. The cutting-edge data analytics keep the ACO team focused on excellence and quality improvement. And it’s working - year after year, the quality scores in Caravan Health ACOs are at the front of the pack for both MIPS and the ACO quality measures.
  1. With the Caravan Health Risk-Free No Cost ACO, this is a financial no-brainer.
Rural providers can join a Caravan Health collaborative ACO with no upfront costs and with no risk for a January 2022 start. Rural ACO participants will not have to invest their own start-up funds or take on downside risk for the five-year contract of the ACO. Caravan will implement our proven population health management program, cover any downside performance risk, and pay for other program requirements. With an offer like this, it’s hard to say no.

With this unique offering, rural providers will join a Caravan Health collaborative ACO, a larger ACO made up of independent health providers that can protect against the statistical variation that can sink smaller ACOS. The larger size protects against the normal fluctuations in health care costs. Our proven model is sustainable for rural providers' needs throughout the life of the ACO – 100% of rural providers in our collaborative ACOs will receive shared savings payments this year.

Rural providers can get better care for the community, new revenue from population health work, shared savings, and 340B optimization – all at no cost and with no risk with costs offset by a forgivable loan against shared savings.

Caravan Health can show you how it’s done.
Only 100,000 lives can be accepted into this program. Qualified participants will be prioritized in order of completed applications. Application deadline is June 1, 2021. Reach out to today.


Recent Resources

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