Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (MHHS) is the largest not-for-profit hospital system in Southeast Texas, with 12 hospitals, dozens of specialty health, sports medicine, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers throughout the Houston area, and approximately 5,500 affiliated physicians. The Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD) is the largest clinically integrated physician organization in the state, with more than 3,500 physicians.

The Memorial Hermann ACO (MHACO) was established in July 2012 in conjunction with the Medicare Shared Savings Program with 34,430 assigned beneficiaries. It has commercial ACO agreements with Aetna (as of April 2013) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (effective September 2013).

MHACO’s 332-member provider network includes MHHS’s hospitals, specialty institutes, outpatient clinics, independent physician practices and physicians employed by MHHS affiliates. These physicians are part of a patient-centered medical home model MHMD developed called the Advanced Primary Care Practices initiative. For its first performance year, MHACO topped the list for MSSP ACOs, with total shared savings of $57.83 million. Its bonus was $28.34 million.

Providers in MHACO’s network communicate and coordinate patient care through the Memorial Hermann Information Exchange, an encrypted electronic network that permits authorized users to access real-time patient information and clinical data. The system also features a cloud-based medical image sharing platform.

MHHS, MHMD and Aetna created a separate ACO for Aetna Whole Health members in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. Patients receiving care under this ACO have access to physicians and facilities in the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Network. The ACO’s payment model rewards Memorial Hermann physicians for meeting specific measures, including the percentage of Aetna members who receive recommended preventive care and screenings, reductions in avoidable hospital readmission rates, reductions in visits to the emergency department and improved management of patients with chronic conditions.

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