Baptist Health and Florida’s Largest Health Insurer Form ACO

Coral Gables-based Baptist Health South Florida is teaming up with Florida Blue, the state’s largest health insurer, and Miami-based oncology group Advanced Medical Specialties to form an accountable care organization. The Miami Herald reported last month that the ACO was in formation.

The commercial ACO partnership between the hospital system, payor and physician group represents a first for Florida. The ACO will focus specifically on cancer treatment.

“We’re looking forward to dramatically changing the way care gets delivered,” said Pat Geraghty, CEO of Florida Blue, formerly known as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. “We have many other conversations going on around the state.”

Advanced Medical Specialties is a team of 38 physicians with 17 offices in South Florida, many of which are already connected to Baptist Health hospitals.

CFO Ralph Lawson of Baptist Health said it is open to working with other insurers and providers to set up more ACOs.

This new ACO marks Florida’s fourth ACO and the first based in South Florida. In April, three ACOs were formed in Clermont, Winter Park and Trinity.

ACOs are tasked with providing high quality care at lower costs for a minimum of 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs may share in the savings to Medicare, as long as their performance reduces the cost of care and is sufficiently rated on 33 quality measures. The quality measures relate to, among other things, care coordination and patient safety, use of appropriate preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and the patient experience of care.

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