CMS: ACOs generate $275 million in Medicare savings
WASHINGTON — Interim financial results for 114 ACOs that began work in 2012 show that they generated $128 million in savings for the Medicare trust fund in the first year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported in a blog posted Thursday. Additionally, initial results from an independent evaluation of 23 Pioneer ACOs, which are those that have more experience with coordinated care, show that they saved the Medicare program $147 million in their first year of operation.
"While still early in the program, with some ACOs making greater progress than others, the $275 million in savings — and the high quality of care that has accompanied it — are admirable results," CMS wrote. "ACOs are designed to achieve savings over several years, not always on an annual basis, but this is a very strong start. Moreover, through regular webinars, tools for sharing information and best practices, opportunities for ACOs to connect with one another and other activities, we’re providing ACOs the infrastructure and resources to learn from one another and to then diffuse what’s working and what’s not."
“Our experience has shown that ACOs can increase quality while lowering costs," said Kenneth Wilkins, president of Coastal Carolina Health Care. "As a result of the programs we’ve initiated, our patients have experienced better access to their primary care physician, higher quality measures and fewer trips to the hospital.”
Valeant approved for Retin-A Micro
LAVAL, Quebec — Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a specialty pharmaceutical company, on Friday announced that it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Retin-A Micro (tretinoin) gel microsphere 0.08%, which is used for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris.
"We are very pleased that the FDA has approved our new strength of Retin-A Micro, as this gives healthcare providers and patients a new option for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris," J. Michael Pearson, chairman and chief executive officer, said. "This new strength will provide physicians and patients another effective treatment and should be a welcome alternative to current strengths. We look forward to launching 0.08% Retin-A Micro in the near future."
Avella Specialty Pharmacy names new CEO
PHOENIX — Avella Specialty Pharmacy on Thursday named Rebecca Shanahan CEO. Shanahan brings more than two decades of successful leadership experience in the healthcare sector, as well as five years of service on Avella’s board of directors, to her new role.
Shanahan will succeed John Musil in that capacity, though Musil will continue to actively serve as chairman, Avella stated, focusing on long-term strategy and serving as the company’s ambassador to the clinical community.
“Avella has increased its revenue more than five-fold organically in the past five years and grown its operations correspondingly," Musil stated. "To fully capitalize on the opportunities resulting from our success and scale, Avella is fortunate to have Rebecca Shanahan taking on the role of chief executive officer. Not only does she bring a depth and breadth of healthcare, health plan and specialty pharmacy expertise that will be instrumental to Avella’s ongoing growth, but she already has a strong understanding of our organization through her years of participation on the board of directors.”
Shanahan’s healthcare experience spans the provider sector. Earlier in her career, she served in executive roles at three health systems: as SVP business development for the University of Chicago Hospitals and Faculty Practice Plan; as SVP Methodist Medical Group and Ambulatory Services; and as general counsel of Community Hospitals of Indiana.
From 1997 to 2005, Shanahan served as a board member, general counsel and EVP strategic initiatives for Priority Healthcare. From 2005 to 2007, Shanahan served as EVP and head of the Aetna Specialty Pharmacy. Since that time, she has provided consulting services to leading healthcare companies, including Cardinal Health, Shoppers Drug Mart, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers Squibb, Rite Aid and Cancer Centers of Excellence.
“I am honored to be joining Avella at this exciting time,” Shanahan said. “The company has long been a leader and innovator in the development of unique specialty pharmacy services, with many well-deserved ‘best in class’ recognitions. I am excited about the opportunity to work with John, the board of directors, and the entire Avella team to continue to expand our clinical pharmacy, patient advocacy, and specialty pharmacy services into new disease categories and via new healthcare partnerships.”