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Banner Health Network Earns High Quality Performance, Saves Medicare Money

ACOs Improve Quality and Reduce Costs While Preserving Medicare Beneficiary Choice of Providers 

PHOENIX (August 31, 2021) — For the third straight year, Banner Health Network (BHN) providers improved care for nearly 60,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona and saved Medicare $17.2 million by meeting quality and cost goals in 2020, according to recently released performance data from the federal agency that administers Medicare. 

In addition, BHN earned a high quality score on performance measures ranging from preventive health checks to use of computerized health records to preventing avoidable hospitalizations, according to Medicare data. The $17.2 million of gross savings to Medicare resulted in a shared savings payment of $12.9 million to Banner Health Network, half of which will be distributed to Accountable Care Organization (ACO) physicians.

BHN has partnered with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services since 2012, and has generated more than $120 million in savings to Medicare while seeing an upward trend to quality scores.

“Our dedicated network of providers is key to reaching this level of success for our community,” said Ed Clarke, MD, CMO for BHN. “When providers work together to focus on care coordination, care improvements, and information technology they can both increase quality and reduce costs with tangible results.” 

A market-based solution to fragmented and costly care, ACOs empower local physicians, hospitals and other providers to work together and take responsibility for improving quality, enhancing patient experience and keeping care affordable. The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) creates incentives for ACOs to invest in transform care by allowing them to share in savings they generate after meeting defined quality and cost goals. 

To achieve these results, BHN providers work to increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries taking advantage of annual wellness visits, including recommended screenings and preventive care. The ACO also focuses on ensuring smooth patient transitions from the hospital to home—or a nursing home if needed. All ACO providers receive detailed information about their performance on quality measures. And clinicians and providers share best practices to coordinate the care beneficiaries receive from different primary care and specialty providers and to prevent health issues and repeat hospitalizations. Banner Health MSSP Network includes more than 800 primary care providers who serve Maricopa and Pinal counties, joining with both Banner employed and community-based physician practices.

Banner Health Network was designed to provide a highly coordinated patient care experience for beneficiaries of government and private insurance plans. BHN is comprised of more than 5,000 Banner Health-affiliated physicians, 15 Phoenix-area Banner hospitals, and a variety of other clinical services and facilities arranged into eight “neighborhoods” across Arizona’s Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County. With engaged physicians, a population health management focus and sophisticated health information technology as support, Banner Health Network seeks to provide high quality care at an affordable price. Parent company, Banner Health, is one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country, with operations in six states. 
Banner Health

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