Planning for the Future
The Affordable Care Act, passed several years ago by Congress and upheld this year by the Supreme Court, has had a dramatic impact on the health care landscape. Discussions about insurance coverage, Medicare, Medicaid and reimbursement rates are now everyday occurrences. At Aurora, while these discussions are important, our job continues to be centered on patient care. Our goal is to ensure that current and future patients receive care that is high-quality, affordable and personal.
The Aurora Difference
Aurora's integrated delivery system is unique in that it includes primary care physicians, specialists, lab services, inpatient and hospital services, pharmacies and home health services that are linked together through an electronic health record and provide a complete picture of a patient's treatment plan. Regardless of where our patients access our services, they can count on a consistent approach to their care.
In 2012, we developed the Aurora Accountable Care Network. Aurora has demonstrated that health costs can be lowered by coordinating care in a fully integrated medical network committed to continuous clinical improvement. The new Aurora Accountable Care Network is a way for all employers to benefit from Aurora's experience and share in the savings realized from an integrated delivery system and clinical best-practice initiatives. Through partnerships with Anthem and Aetna, three employers signed on by the end of the year.
Accountable Care Pilot
Redesigning and redefining how care is provided is helpful given how much health care is changing. In 2012, the concept of Accountable Care pilots was introduced. With the health care reform ramping up, redesign needed to become more formal and more measured in order to see what worked and what didn't. Aurora participated in several pilots including a Medicare Shared Savings Program that looked at whether savings could be achieved through care coordination. Another pilot measured how a team-based approach to care, or a medical home, can help improve patient care. These and other pilots in the areas of behavioral health, nursing home care coordination and an online personal health care chart will help pave the way for health care in the future.S