Trenton Health Team Certified as Medicaid Accountable Care Organization

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N.J. Department of Human Services has certified Trenton Health Team as one of the first Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the State, serving the greater Trenton community.

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“We believe the recognition as a Medicaid ACO will enhance our ability to serve the health needs of Trenton residents, providing a higher level of coordination and efficiency in the delivery of care," - Gregory Paulson, Exec. Dir., THT

Trenton Health Team has been certified by the New Jersey Department of Human Services as one of the first Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the State, serving the greater Trenton community. The ACO pilot is for a three-year period, effective tomorrow, July 1.

The Trenton Health Team ACO draws on the collaborative structure of THT, bringing together the vast majority of Trenton’s primary and specialty care providers through both of the city’s hospitals (Capital Health and St. Francis Medical Center), its only Federally Qualified Health Center (Henry J. Austin Health Center), and the City of Trenton itself, through its Department of Health and Human Services, in a shared effort to transform healthcare for the community. In addition, behavioral health providers, social service agencies, community organizations and city residents have joined in this community-wide endeavor to bring better healthcare at lower cost to Medicaid recipients within the Trenton geography.

“Trenton Health Team has been preparing for this initiative for several years, bringing together key community partners and developing the infrastructure and data capacity to manage the responsibility,” said James Brownlee, director of the Department of Health and Human Services and Health Officer for the City of Trenton, who also serves as THT’s president. “As a public health professional, I especially value the emphasis on health at the community level that is built into the project design, which will ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for our citizens.”

To improve the coordination of care and support the ACO project, THT established the Trenton Health information Exchange (HIE), a shared database that allows doctors and other providers to communicate directly about patient needs. This means less time is spent filling out paperwork and repeating one’s medical history to various providers. It also means fewer repeated medical tests or missed diagnoses.

“This recognition by the State is an important validation of our work to-date, establishing essential technological tools and building partnerships and trust across the range of medical and behavioral service providers,” said Trenton Health Team’s executive director, Gregory Paulson. “We believe the recognition as a Medicaid ACO will enhance our ability to serve the health needs of Trenton residents, providing a higher level of coordination and efficiency in the delivery of care, thereby improving outcomes for patients and containing costs for the healthcare system.”

An ACO is a healthcare model that has the three-part goal of improving health outcomes, lowering healthcare cost and improving the patient’s experience of receiving care. While the ACO model has been tested and found to be effective in achieving improved outcomes and reduced costs within Medicare, this adoption for Medicaid represents an important innovation in the design, Paulson said.

“THT’s Medicaid ACO will achieve the goals of improving health outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing costs through the strategic use of data and technology coupled with our continued and expanding community collaboration, which has defined our work for the past ten years,” said Paulson. “We are pleased to partner with the State in bringing this opportunity to the Trenton community.”

About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city's major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the City of Trenton’s Department of Health and Human Services. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT receives generous support from The Nicholson Foundation, corporate partners and other foundations. For more information, visit http://www.trentonhealthteam.org.

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On Wednesday, July 1st at 12:30 PM the QI Collaborative, the learning network for New Jersey’s Medicaid ACOs, will be hosting a webinar and teleconference with the applicants to discuss their plans for the first year of the demonstration project, and how they plan to improve quality, improve patient experience, and reduce health care costs in their regions. To sign up for the webinar, go to http://www.njhcqi.org/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/register&reset=1&id=19

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Media queries, please contact Becky Taylor at 609-240-6886or Becky(at)btaylorpa(dot)com

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