January 02, 2020


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Last week Caravan Health hosted its 4th annual Accountable Care Symposium. Held in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Symposium was the largest attended to date. The two-day event included keynote speakers, breakout sessions, ACO award winners, and ample time for professional networking. Continuing Medical Education credits were available to health care professionals and for the first time, an interactive app was available for attendees and proved to be a successful tool.

Some highlights from Scottsdale:

Caravan Health CEO, Tim Gronniger, set the stage for attendees who would have the opportunity to listen to 65 speakers present on a wide range of value-based care topics. He discussed the progress, and process, in making the numbers work for ACO participants. In 2019, Caravan initiated the largest-ever ACO with more than 225,000 lives and Tim confirmed that scale plays a significant role in revenue generation. As we look forward, Caravan Health plans to focus on establishing large ACOs which has proven to mitigate risk and improve outcomes for clinicians and their patients.

In her keynote address, Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, challenged the “room full of change-makers” to focus on healthy opportunities for communities which includes measuring success in ways that aren’t yet taught in medical school. She shared a personal experience of being an eager resident trying to cure an obviously unwell patient without success. It took a nurse pointing out that perhaps the patient didn’t have enough to eat to lift the veil on what many clinicians fail to consider: food insecurity, home environments, poverty and lack of transportation often play a key role in the health of a patient. She explained how to identify gaps in care and touted the virtues of value-based health care.

Caravan Health Founder and Executive Chairwoman, Lynn Barr, discussed risk and the future for ACO participants. She confirmed Caravan’s commitment to rural communities and commented on the variety of ways to reduce the cost of care. By saving 1% of our nation’s health care dollars, we could save $30 trillion and to a full audience described that perhaps that will be the game to play. Lynn’s confidence and commitment resonated as she addressed clinicians, “the healthier your patients, the healthier your bottom line.”

Quint Studer, recipient of numerous innovation awards including being twice named Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare, focused on leadership in the midst of change. He discussed strategies to successfully navigate data structures, industry consolidation, and leader alignment as health care evolves.

Other featured speakers included Loel Solomon, PhD, who discussed the Social Determinants of Health. One in four Americans has an unmet social need that stands in the way of better health and Dr. Solomon spoke to the importance of understanding and addressing unequal access to health care across a large patient base.

The 2019 Symposium was a year of firsts. In addition to the app made available to every attendee, five distinct learning tracks were developed for different levels of expertise. The tracks included general sessions led by industry experts, innovations in technology and strategy and sessions that honored women in leadership roles. Sponsorship was introduced this year which provided windows of opportunities for attendees to glean new information regarding resources and tools that are available as the field of health care continues to transition toward value-based health care.

Sessions were well-attended, and participants spoke to the wealth of information at their disposal. A common theme throughout the two days in Scottsdale can be summed up in one attendee’s comment, “What we’re doing right now is the future of health care”.

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