Section: News

Covenant Health Performs Well in Accountable Care Measures


Medicare ACOs Continue to Improve Quality of Care, Generate Shared Savings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued 2014 quality and financial performance results showing that more Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continue to generate financial savings while improving the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries by fostering greater collaboration between doctors, hospitals, and health care providers.

When an ACO demonstrates that it has achieved high-quality care and effectively reduced spending of health care dollars above certain thresholds, it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare. In 2014, 20 Pioneer and 333 Shared Savings Program ACOs generated more than $411 million in savings, which includes all ACOs savings and losses. The results also show that ACOs with more experience in the program tend to perform better over time.

Covenant Health’s ACO is one that generated shared savings along with 96 other ACOs performing successfully in 2014. Only 27 percent of the accountable care organizations hit their target of generated savings, which puts Covenant Health close to the top quartile of performance in that group. Covenant Health created Covenant ACO to help coordinate care among its network providers and patients.

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, that come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high-quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare.

“This is a milestone achievement for Lubbock and the entire West Texas and eastern New Mexico region to improve healthcare for our community and patients,” said John Grigson, senior vice president and CFO, Covenant Health, and Covenant ACO president. “The success in the Medicare Shared Savings Program is an extension of our mission of Christian healing and furthers our goal of creating healthier communities.”

“These results affirm the strategy of Covenant Health to move away from providing care solely in episodes of illness to a more comprehensive strategy of providing the right care for our patients in the most appropriate location,” said Dr. Michael Robertson, Covenant ACO medical director. “The outcome is improved coordination of care among providers that ensures the highest quality of care, while also reducing the traditionally higher costs associated with the industry’s old strategy.”

For more detailed quality and financial results, click here:

Fact Sheet: Medicare ACOs Provide Improved Care While Slowing Cost Growth in 2014

Additional Resources

Visit the Medicare Shared Savings Program News and Updates webpage to access the HHS press release and fact sheet, the link to the Performance Year 2014 results file, and to learn more about the program.

Harrison Grigson, Covenant Health Partners, (806)725-3454 or; or Bruce Lane, vice president of finance and CFO, Covenant Health Partners, (806) 725-2142 or

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About Covenant Health

Covenant Health is the only integrated health network in the region dedicated to a Christian mission of healing by caring for the whole person – body, mind and spirit – and by working with others to improve health and quality of life in our communities. Covenant Health is the largest, most comprehensive provider in the West Texas and eastern New Mexico region. Celebrating nearly 100 years of excellence, its care network includes more than 5,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 600 physicians; a health plan based in Texas to provide high-quality affordable care; the most advanced, geographically accessible medical group of primary care physicians and specialists; six hospitals with more than 1,000 licensed beds; hospice care and a network of post-acute care providers. Covenant Health is here to help keep people healthy and manage their care, regardless of where they live on the South Plains. Covenant Health is a member of St. Joseph Health; to learn more about this unique ministry of healing or call 1-866-4COVENANT for a physician.

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