Henry Ford Physicians ACO Launched

January 11, 2016


DETROIT – Henry Ford Health System is one of 21 Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the country selected to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Next Generation ACO model, effective Jan. 1, 2016. This partnership between HFHS and CMS will have a direct, positive, and immediate impact on the care of more than 20,000 Medicare patients in Southeast Michigan.

Through this ACO model the Henry Ford Physicians Accountable Care Organization can now offer its Medicare patients:

  • Greater opportunities for virtual consultations with their doctors using Skype, FaceTime, or other electronic devices brought to their home by home health workers or case managers.
  • More home visits by their physicians or other qualified caregivers in the 30 days after discharge from the hospital.
  • The ability to be admitted directly to a skilled nursing facility without the previous mandatory three-day hospital stay.
  • A wider range of physicians, specialists, medical facilities, and clinics throughout Southeast Michigan.

All members of the Henry Ford Medical Group, Henry Ford employed physicians, hundreds of private practice physicians and specialists along with all HFHS facilities comprise the HFPACO during this initial three-year participation agreement.

“This model truly aligns with our philosophy and experience as a value-based, population health organization,” says Henry Ford CEO Nancy Schlichting. “Our Medicare patients will greatly benefit from the high levels of care provided under Next Generation as well as a greater access to care whether it’s in-person with their physician or through virtual means.”

“The Next Generation ACO Model is an important step toward advancing models of care that reward value over volume in care delivery,” said Charles Kelly, D.O., the executive leading the Henry Ford Physicians ACO. “For years we have carefully evaluated ACO opportunities, but those models did not fit well within the focus of our health system. What differentiates this ACO from earlier models is the freedom it offers patients to seek services and providers of their choice, while also giving physicians greater latitude to provide timely care, particularly for our patients with chronic conditions.”

The HF ACO has at its core a patient-centered philosophy and practice whereby physicians partner with their patients to create a care plan that meets the patient’s needs and goals. Through the use of the Epic platform, physicians can more easily communicate in real-time. Likewise, facilities within the our ACO can more readily share imaging, lab, and other diagnostic results to reduce duplication of services and bring about more immediate care. Ideally, this results in higher quality of care, more positive health outcomes for patients, and reduced costs.

“We look forward to working with our newly selected Next Generation ACO model participants to move our health care system toward one that delivers better care, smarter spending and healthier people,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., deputy administrator and chief medical officer for CMS. “This ACO model responds to stakeholder requests for the next stage of the ACO model that enables greater engagement of beneficiaries, a more predictable, prospective financial model and the flexibility to utilize additional tools to coordinate care for beneficiaries.”

Media Contact:
David Olejarz
(313) 874-4094