Last month Caravan Health hosted its 6th annual Accountable Care Symposium, held in person for the first time since 2019. The two-day event in San Diego, CA, included keynote speakers, breakout sessions, population health award winners, and a chance to greet colleagues face-to-face. This was also the first chance for the Caravan and Signify Health teams to collaborate and support ACO clients in-person since the companies’ merger earlier this year.  

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The Symposium kicked off with three of our executive leaders laying out their visions for the company. Caravan Health CEO, Tim Gronniger, welcomed the audience by discussing the merger with Signify Health. Signify brings expertise in post-acute, specialty, and home-based care, all of which contribute to ACO success. Signify Health is a leader in in-home health evaluations, with visits to 2.5 million homes in the last year. These in-home visits, similar to an annual wellness visit (AWV), send information back to the provider that would not be seen in the clinic.  

Signify Health CEO, Kyle Armbrester, talked about his roots in rural healthcare. Signify has a large presence and is working in every county in the United States. By contracting with community organizations, Signify has helped to move healthcare volume outside of large academic medical centers to smaller facilities. The company is investing in technology, research, and development, with a plan to reduce administrative, service, and financial burdens for ACO clients.  

Caravan Founder, Lynn Barr, thanked the audience for continuing to partner with Caravan as we innovate and make the most of new opportunities. She discussed her vision for participation in the higher risk ACO REACH program. The merger places Caravan-supported ACOs in a better position to migrate to higher risk programs. New opportunities, such as REACH, could potentially double the amount of shared savings for high-performing ACO partners.  

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Healthcare industry leaders took the stage to deliver keynote addresses. Dr. Tamara Cadet, public health researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, discussed her passion in reducing health discrepancies in older populations. Her mission is to help people understand health literacy and determine how to implement best practices in clinics or offices. She discussed her most important tool, “Ask Me Three.” The critical questions are: “What is my main problem?” “What do I need to do to address main problem?” and, “Why is it important to address this?” When patients and clinicians work together to address these three questions, it is much easier to get to the heart of the most important health issues.  

A symposium favorite, Quint Studer, gave an inspiring talk about effective leadership and the importance of recharging your workforce. He reinforced the importance of asking everyone to check in to say how recharged or burned out they were feeling. Staying in touch with employees and recognizing differing working styles is crucial to a healthy organization. 

“This was a great discussion and really made me look back into why I chose healthcare in the first place. I feel that the pandemic has made us lose sight of this and it was so great to listen to ideas on how to engage fellow healthcare workers in our everyday and also help them to replenish.” 

 – Emily Clark, Billings Clinic 

There was also an opportunity to hear about the latest in health policy. Tim Gronniger sat down with the Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Liz Fowler, to discuss her thoughts about the future of value-based payment. She expressed her continued support for value-based payment, and accountable care, specifically. CMS has developed an action plan to address health equity and will continue to highlight that issue in new models, payment rules, and other communications. Tim asked about the future of a new iteration of the ACO Investment Model, which successfully launched multiple rural ACOs. CMS recognizes the success of AIM but wants to take a broader approach before re-launching the model.   

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After the session with Liz Fowler, the audience heard from Signify’s Head of Government Affairs, Kim Holland, and two health policy experts from Washington D.C., Jennifer Young and Kimberly Brandt from Tarplin, Downs, and Young. They discussed a range of issues including the state of the COVID public health emergency, and the outlook for action on Capitol Hill regarding mental health and medication pricing. All of this is made more complicated in 2022, an election year.  

In addition to the main stage speakers, there were breakout sessions that addressed System Transformation, Practice Transformation, and Primary Care Leadership. Attendees participated in intimate sessions that allowed them to ask questions and hear case studies and lessons learned in value-based care.  

“The symposium was overall fantastic, and my entire group loved the trip, enjoyed San Diego, and appreciated the knowledge and kindness of every Caravan/Signify employee we encountered! Thank you!!!”  

– Nicole Clanton, Beauregard Health System 

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A highlight of the event was also the chance to network and reconnect with peers and colleagues. Attendees and Caravan and Signify teams convened to enjoy ‘Brews on the Bay’ that overlooked the sunny San Diego skyline. 

Thank you to all of our 2022 Accountable Care Symposium attendees, both in-person and virtual. Click here to sign up and be notified of our next educational event.  

Recent Resources

CMS Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services just issued a lengthy set of policy changes to address the growing COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). These changes will help hospitals and health providers to respond to the crisis more quickly and safely, including many more options for telehealth in Medicare.

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