10 Federally Qualified Health Care Centers have joined to form a new Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The initiative hopes to improve access to care to underserved communities in West Virginia by changing the way physicians get paid.
Traditionally physicians operated on a fee for service model (the more patients you see the more money you make). Now, advocates are hoping for a patient outcomes model (the better your patient does the more money you make).
The new partnership is the first ACO in West Virginia made up of physicians working in Federally Qualified Health Care Centers.
These community-based primary care centers are designed for underserved pockets of the population. Doctors in ACOs remain in independent practice. The ACOs reward positive patient outcomes and help the physicians coordinate care.
In an email, Aledade, the company coordinating the partnership, said physicians in their network see significant increases in preventive care visits as well as increases in practice revenue.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.