The Caravan Health Accountable Care Symposium brings together community hospital leaders, experts from government and industry, clinical staff, and others to share their visions, strategies, and experiences in executing value-based payment models. 

This year’s Symposium, the third annual event, starts today in Phoenix, AZ, and comes at a critical time for ACOs. A final rule restructuring the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) is due to be released soon, the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) has been updated for 2019, and small, rural health systems continue to face unique challenges in an ever-changing health care industry. 

In two days of keynotes, panel discussions, and educational breakouts, our Symposium will cover five key themes. Here’s a summary, along with some of the key Symposium sessions that will cover these themes. 

Theme 1: Understanding the Future of Value-Based Payment 

Why It Matters:  

MIPS will change in 2019, making more clinicians eligible to receive incentives and fewer quality measures necessary for reporting. The ACO MSSP program will change, too – and while we haven’t seen the final rule yet, the proposed ACO rule has shortened the on-ramp for organizations to take on two-sided risk. Finally, the 2018 midterm elections have resulted in a divided Congress; what types of value-based payment reform legislation – if any – can health care leaders expect to see before the end of 2020? 

Learn More at the Symposium: 

  • What’s Next in Health Care? – 9:15 to 10:15 Wednesday with Andy Slavitt, General Partner, Town Hall Ventures and Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 

  • What are CMS’s Priorities in 2019? – 10:45 to 11:30 Wednesday with Amy Bassano, Deputy Director, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) 

  • Policy Panel: Implications of Rules Changes and Vision – 11:30 to 12:15 Wednesday 

Theme 2: Improving Patient Care 

Why It Matters:  

To achieve success under value-based payment models, ACOs must be able to show that they are improving patient outcomes – particularly for those who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition. Increasingly, thriving in value-based models is a team effort, with an emphasis on both preventive care and ongoing condition management and a shift away from providing reactive care.  

Learn More at the Symposium:  

  • Annual Wellness Visits: Best Practice Panel Discussion – 1:30 to 3:00 Wednesday 

  • Lessons Learned on Behavioral Health Integration: Panel Discussion – 9:20 to 10:10 Thursday 

  • Succeeding with Chronic Care Management – 1:30 to 2:30 Thursday with Vicki Sinclair, Senior Clinical Practice Manager, Caravan Health 

Theme 3: Managing Care Transitions 

Why It Matters:  

When a patient is discharged from the hospital, it is critical for the transition of care to go smoothly – whether the patient is going home or entering a post-acute care facility. Properly educating patients as well as clinical staff about diagnoses, medications, and treatment plans can reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the overall cost of care delivery. 

Learn More at the Symposium: 

  • Extending Care Beyond the Clinic – 1:30 to 2:15 Wednesday with Traci Harris, Heart Failure Nurse Navigator, Reid, and Aaron Kirk, Vice President of Partner Sales, VRI 

  • Validating Care Transitions – 1:30 to 2:15 Thursday with Sally Crossley, Clinical Manager, Ammonoosuc Community Health Services  

  • Panel Session: Best Practices for Improving Care Transitions – 3:15 to 4:15 Thursday 

Theme 4: Overcoming Change Management Barriers 

Why It Matters:  

Organizations that adopt value-based payment models are not only committing to change the way they get paid to deliver care. They are also committing to clinical care transformation, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary teams, care coordination, and increased visibility into overall population health. Putting these commitments into practice is a careful exercise in change management, and obtaining physician buy-in for new care delivery models is a critical part of this process. 

Learn More at the Symposium:  

  • Panel Session: Breaking Down Silos – 11:45 to 12:30 Thursday 

  • Panel Session: Overcoming Barriers – 2:15 to 3:00 Thursday 

  • Panel Session: Change Management Strategies for Health Care Leaders – 3:15 to 4:15 Thursday 

Theme 5: Leading an ACO to Success  

Why It Matters:  

ACOs face many obstacles – clinical, financial, and operational – along the path to successfully improving patient outcomes while cutting health care costs. Overcoming these obstacles requires effective executive and physician leadership. Leaders must engage with medical staff so that they understand why an organization is committed to change – and they must fully commit to making that change.  

The Physician Leadership Track – led by Caravan Health CMO Dr. Anna Loengard and Medical Director of ACO Programs Dr. John Findley – is CME credit approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Learn More at the Symposium: 

  • Collaborative ACOs in Action: How We Get the Work Done – 1:50 to 3:00 Wednesday with Caravan Health executives 

  • Transformative Physician Leadership: Driving Local Change and Shared Savings Success: Strategic Use of Programs and Data – 1:30 to 4:15 Wednesday (this track is CME credit approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians) 

  • Hospital Strategies for Shared Savings – 8:50 to 9:20 Thursday with Caravan Health CMO Dr. Anna Loengard and President Tim Gronniger 

Caravan Health helps nurses and hospitals work together to create, operate and manage successful population health programs that improve patient care, clinician satisfaction and financial performance. We have experts from every corner of the industry – email us directly at or call us at (916) 542-4582 to speak to us today.

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