Sharp HealthCare to Participate as Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization

Sharp HealthCare selected to participate in Pioneer ACO Model.
Dr. John Jenrette (left), CEO of Sharp Community Medical Group, and Stacey Hrountas, CEO of Sharp HealthCare ACO, with Jonathan Blum, Dr. Hoangmai Pham and Rick Gilfillan of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Photo by Chris Smith

New Model Designed to Optimize Care for Beneficiaries Through Partnership With Medicare  

SAN DIEGO — Sharp HealthCare has been selected to participate in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, a new initiative sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.  

Through the Pioneer ACO Model, the newly created Sharp HealthCare ACO will work with CMS to pilot a program for Medicare beneficiaries that enhances the engagement between patients and their medical providers in the coordination of care and services across all aspects of their health care needs. Patients will benefit from improved quality and outcomes as a result of a more efficient and coordinated approach among providers.  

"Through our network of hospitals and affiliated medical groups, Sharp has a long history of successfully delivering coordinated, patient-centered, high-quality care that sets community standards, exceeds patient expectations and is provided in a convenient, cost-effective and accessible manner," said Mike Murphy, president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare. "Under this pilot, we will be actively engaging an expanded population of Medicare beneficiaries in a comprehensive, coordinated care model."  

According to Dr. Donald C. Balfour III, president and medical director of Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, "In the traditional fee-for-service model, patient care can sometimes be fragmented across many providers who do not have access to all of a patient's information, which may inhibit a comprehensive approach to a patient's care plan. Under the Pioneer ACO Model, we will focus on engaging patients and health care providers in a comprehensive and coordinated approach to meet each patient's needs and ensure the right care is given at the right time."  

The Pioneer ACO model is designed to encourage the development of ACOs, which are comprised of hospitals, doctors and other health care providers who work together and are accountable for quality outcomes and the overall patient experience. Based on their demonstrated experience in providing high-quality, coordinated care, Sharp was chosen by the Innovation Center to pilot the effectiveness of this enhanced approach to care delivery for select Medicare beneficiaries.  

"We applaud this project's focus on quality and improved health outcomes, the patient experience and cost-effective care that CMS and Sharp will be measuring and be held accountable to," said Dr. John Jenrette, CEO and medical director of Sharp Community Medical Group. "The Sharp system brings many years of experience in these areas and expanding these services to this patient population is a welcome opportunity."  

Today's announcement was the culmination of a competitive selection process that began in May with the national release of a Request for Applications from CMS. The Pioneer ACO Model is one of a number of initiatives developed by the new Innovation Center. The Innovation Center was created by the Affordable Care Act to test new models of health care delivery and payment.  

Background on Sharp HealthCare Accountable Care Organization
Based in San Diego, Sharp HealthCare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is comprised of an integrated health system that serves nearly 32,000 Medicare beneficiaries in San Diego County. Sharp HealthCare ACO includes: most physicians who are part of Sharp Community Medical Group, an independent physician association, including Graybill Medical Group; all physicians with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, a multispecialty medical group practice; and all Sharp HealthCare hospitals including Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Coronado Hospital, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, Sharp McDonald Center, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital. For more information about Sharp HealthCare ACO, please visit Sharp HealthCare Accountable Care Organization.

A 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, Sharp is on a journey to transform the health care experience. Through The Sharp Experience, Sharp is dedicated to creating personal experiences for patients built on dignity, compassion and respect, and by using clinical excellence and advanced technology to deliver the highest quality patient care. For more information about Sharp, please visit www.sharp.com.   

Helpful Links
For more information about the Pioneer ACO Model, visit the Pioneer ACO website at www.innovations.cms.gov/areas-of-focus/seamless-and-coordinated-care-models/pioneer-aco/. The Pioneer ACO Model is one of several initiatives underway at CMS designed to encourage the formation of ACOs. For more information, visit www.cms.gov/aco. For more information about the Innovation Center, visit innovations.cms.gov.

Last Updated: July 24, 2012