Meridian Alliance ACO Makes Significant Strides in Preventive Health

October 30, 2017

For the fourth year in a row, the Medicare ACO realized improvements in quality scores

For the fourth year in a row, Meridian Accountable Care Organization (ACO) achieved improvements in its quality scores, successfully reaching and surpassing key measures especially in preventive care, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced.

“Meridian’s ACO made significant strides in preventive health in 2016 by reporting an increase in healthy weight for patients, more pneumonia vaccinations as well as better management of diabetic patients, according to the federal government,” said Patrick Young, president of Population Health Management for Hackensack Meridian Health. “The improved quality scores are evidence of the ACOs’ dedication to delivering proactive care, helping ensure patients are engaged and empowered in their well-being.”

“The Meridian Accountable Care Organization (ACO) remains dedicated to delivering coordinated, quality care to its patients,” said Navneet Kathuria, M.D., MPH, MBA, senior vice president of Population Health Management for Hackensack Meridian Health. “While our ACO did not meet Medicare’s benchmark for shared savings, we consistently deliver robust quality scores and are already implementing new methods aimed at further improving patient care.”

Hackensack Meridian Health is a leader in building successful ACOs, which are transforming health care by emphasizing value-based care, a big step from traditional fee-for-service medicine. The core change is that doctors and hospitals are paid to keep patients healthy, and do so by hiring care coordinators to serve as a bridge between patient and physician and invest in more technology to better track outcomes. It’s about providing the right care, at the right place and the right time.

Under the fee-for service model, hospitals and physicians get paid for every treatment or hospitalization, so the cost of care – especially for patients with chronic disease – is typically an expensive revolving door with little monitoring of cost or outcome. About half of all health care spending in the U.S. goes to treat a small group of diseases such as congestive heart failure and diabetes. Treatment of diabetes alone costs $101 billion a year according to the federal government.

The CMS announcement focuses on the 2016 performance year results for the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model that show physicians, hospitals and health care providers participating in Accountable Care Organizations continue to make significant improvements in the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while achieving cost savings


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey and three hospitals included in the top 10, according to U.S. News & World Report, more than any other health care network in the state. The network is also recognized for consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is a recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.

The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood.

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