Aledade expands into California to bring more physician-led ACOs to the state

Aledade, the startup company that is working to reshape primary care, is partnering with the California Medical Association to create new physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the state.

The California physicians’ organization chose Aledade as their statewide partner to help independent physicians create and operate Medicare ACOs, according to an announcement.

The two organizations will now recruit doctors statewide to participate in Aledade Medicare ACOs beginning in the 2020 program year. 

The partnership marks Aledade’s first expansion into the California healthcare market, and the company will recruit physicians for its new ACOs to participate in the government’s Pathways to Success Medicare Shared Savings Program. The medical association will help identify and prepare doctors to join the ACOs Aledade will set up in California.

The partnership will help independent practices succeed under value-based payment systems aimed at delivering better care at lower costs, the leaders of both organizations said.

“The California Medical Association has long supported the state’s physician community with the knowledge and resources needed to deliver the best possible care while remaining independent. Together, we will create a pathway for independent doctors to thrive in the new value-based healthcare system,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., CEO and co-founder of Aledade and one-time national coordinator for health IT at the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We look forward to giving California physicians the opportunity to benefit from an ACO model that rewards them for improving quality of care and patient health outcomes while controlling costs,” he said.

The California Medical Association was optimistic about the partnership’s results.

“This new collaboration will help thousands of physicians—particularly those in smaller, independent practices—focus on patient care instead of being bogged down by administrative tasks,” said David Aizuss, M.D., president of the medical association.

“We believe this new model is one that can be replicated across the state, shifting toward more value-based care that will help physicians deliver better care to patients at a lower cost,” he said.

The expansion into California adds to the Maryland-based Aledade’s national value-based care network, which includes more than 4,000 providers in ACOs in 24 states that deliver care through contracts with Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and commercially insured patients.

The company is expanding with commercial health plan partnerships, including recent contracts with Aetna, Humana and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Aledade partners with independent practices, health centers and clinics to build and lead ACOs anchored in primary care. Aledade said its ACOs across the country have reduced healthcare costs by more than $55 million with reduced preventable hospital stays, emergency room visits and unnecessary medical services.

As part of the California project, Aledade is working closely with the nonprofit CalHIPSO, the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization that provides services to physician offices in California.

The group will provide practice transformation support services to California physicians who join Aledade’s ACOs. The California Medical Association is a founding partner in CalHIPSO, which helps small practice clinicians, community health centers and public hospitals integrate technology solutions to better serve patients.