Humana-ACO partnership improves health measures

In their first year of working together, a Pennsylvania accountable care organization (ACO) and Humana have been able to improve health measures among Medicare Advantage members.

Since the Delaware Valley ACO, one of the largest Medicare shared savings programs in the U.S., partnered with Humana in 2014, members experienced a 10 percent increase in medication therapy adherence and a 4 percent increase in participation in a disease management program, according to an announcement.

The value-based partnership also expanded last month to add 22 more physician practices, making the healthcare model available to 8,200 Humana Medicare Advantage members in southeast Pennsylvania.

The gains reported in drug adherence and disease management participation show the success of value-based healthcare that emphasizes primary care, quality and a more coordinated care experience for patients, the announcement adds. "These early indicators show that value-based care is doing what it's supposed to: shift our healthcare system toward a more proactive, coordinated approach," said Eric Bohannon, vice president of Humana Medicare Products in Pennsylvania.

The partnership with the Philadelphia-based Delaware Valley ACO gave Humana members in-network access to the ACO's integrated health systems,which include Jefferson Health, Main Line Health, Holy Redeemer Health System and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. In 2016, members will have access to 667 primary care physicians in five counties.

The Delaware Valley ACO partnership is in line with Humana's plans to move away from a health-benefits mindset to one more focused on the consumer, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. The insurer also has set a goal to make the communities it serves 20 percent healthier by 2020, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard wrote in a guest post for Forbes. Humana has faced some criticism, however, related to its planned merger with fellow insurer Aetna, which some groups worry will give the combined companies too much market power in the Medicare Advantage space.

To learn more:
- read the announcement