Skip to main content

Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization

Summary 
  • Need: To increase access and quality of care for Medicare, Medicaid, uninsured, and commercial patients in rural Maine.
  • Intervention: Hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine formed the Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO).
  • Results: CCPM serves about 100,000 patients in Maine. In addition, it implemented ACO shared savings plans with Maine Medicaid, Medicare, and five commercial health insurance and Medicare Advantage plans in the state.

Description

The Community Care Partnership of Maine Accountable Care Organization (CCPM ACO) began in August 2015 and became a Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO in January 2016. The ACO began when Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) and St. Joseph Healthcare in Bangor partnered together. This Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and community hospital, respectively, then invited rural community health centers and community hospitals to join.

While collaborating with major healthcare facilities in Bangor and Portland, the rural facilities in this ACO still maintain independence. Each member organization is considered a joint owner in CCPM and receives one vote in decision-making, whatever the organization's size.

Map of participating CCPM ACO facilities

The three participating hospitals are:

  • Cary Medical Center
  • Millinocket Regional Hospital
  • St. Joseph Healthcare

The 15 participating FQHCs are:

  • Bucksport Regional Health Center
  • DFD Russell Medical Centers
  • Eastport Health Care, Inc.
  • Fish River Rural Health
  • Greater Portland Health
  • Harrington Family Health Center
  • Health Access Network
  • Hometown Health Center
  • Islands Community Medical Services, Inc.
  • Katahdin Valley Health Center
  • Nasson Health Care
  • Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Pines Health Services
  • Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • St. Croix Regional Family Health Center

Through one of its member organizations, CCPM was awarded a 2016-2019 Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement grant. The Maine HealthInfoNet received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) grant to help CCPM member organizations improve their healthcare data and analytics.

Services offered

CCPM uses a health information exchange (HIE) called HealthInfoNet to share patient information among the hospitals and FQHCs. This HIE allows the facilities to provide better-coordinated care to their patients and to collect population health data. In addition, the HIE provides real-time predictive analytics in order to predict (and work to prevent) readmissions. Through the RWJF grant resources, CCPM is bringing in social determinants data from two regional community action programs.

CCPM also allows member organizations to share services in order to reduce costs and duplicated services. Rural organizations do not have to "reinvent the wheel" when they can borrow another organization's expertise or services.

CCPM members with shared savings check
Members of the CCPM team with a check representing MSSP shared savings in 2018.

CCPM is a forum for sharing best practices on how to help patients be as healthy as possible and how to help reduce unnecessary emergency department visits or hospitalizations. Rural member organizations particularly like how monthly sharing with their peers reduces rural isolation and provides collegial support.

The FORHP grant funds three healthcare professionals – two performance coach RNs and one data analytics professional – who directly support practice and quality improvement in member organizations. They are supervised by PCHC's and CCPM's Chief Quality Officer, an experienced nurse practitioner. PCHC's Chief Pharmacy Officer provides support to member organizations preparing for 340B audits and reducing their purchase costs of medications.

CCPM hosts a Complex Case Review Group. Biweekly meetings follow a case presentation format in which presenters outline a patient's background, demographics/social history, pertinent clinical history, and social determinants of health and then solicit recommendations from an interdisciplinary team of experts that includes pharmacy, psychiatry, care management, and social work. CCPM also offers a Pharmacy Consult service to prevent adverse drug events via medication reconciliation.

CCPM also created a Skilled Nursing Facility Collaborative to partner with skilled nursing facilities as well as a patient diagnostic code workgroup to educate billers, coders, and clinicians on the importance of accurately capturing diagnosis code information.

Results

In less than two years, CCPM has implemented a complex LLC legal structure, compliance program, organization, and financial structure. CCPM also covers about 100,000 patients in Maine.

CCPM completed its third year of a shared savings contract with Medicare in December 2018 and continues participation in a second agreement period, which began July 2019. In addition, it has implemented shared savings arrangements/contracts with the health payers Anthem, Anthem Medicare Advantage, Aetna, Harvard Pilgrim, and Cigna. The ACO anticipates a similar arrangement with another Medicare Advantage Plan in the next few months.

In 2016, CCPM had a savings of $4.3 million in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). In 2017, this savings was over $8.8 million. In 2018, CCPM generated over $17.2 million in savings under the MSSP, resulting in about $7.4 million shared savings for CCPM, which was then distributed back to its participating member organizations. CCPM is the only ACO in Maine to have achieved shared savings in 2017 or 2018.

CCPM ACO shared savings line graph
A line graph outlining CCPM's growing success in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) 2016-2018.

The ACO was named a 2016 Case Study in Innovation by the American Hospital Association and presented its work at the AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in February 2017.

Barriers

While CCPM views its vast geography spread across the state as a strength, it recognizes that the distance poses some logistical barriers. To overcome these barriers, CCPM hosts the majority of its committee meetings virtually to reduce travel time for attendees.

CCPM also contends with the use of multiple electronic medical records (EMRs) across its 18 member organizations, which at times poses challenges in starting new initiatives.

Replication

Some member organizations had tried other ACO models but felt that they didn't "fit" into these work cultures. CCPM was a better fit because the member organizations shared similar values, like focusing on their communities' immediate needs.

CCPM shared savings check
Mary Prybylo (left), CEO of CCPM, presents a check representing MSSP shared savings in 2017 to Heather Pelletier, Executive Director of Fish River Rural Health.

CCPM also credits its long-standing success to the leanness of its organizational structure. All of CCPM's officers fulfill their role in a part-time capacity while also serving in a separate role at one of its member organizations.

Contact Information

Mary Prybylo, RN, MSN, FACHE, CEO
Community Care Partnership of Maine
207.907.1100

Topics
Accountable Care Organizations
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Hospitals
Primary care

States served
Maine

Date added
February 17, 2017

Date updated or reviewed
February 4, 2020


Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.