CareMore

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CareMore, a subsidiary of Anthem Inc., is an integrated health plan and care delivery system for Medicare and Medicaid patients. The company was founded in 1993 by Sheldon Zinberg as a small, Southern California regional medical group. Today, CareMore serves 100,000 patients across 8 states with annual revenues of $1.2B.[1]

The company has developed a care model designed to target high-risk, chronically ill patients through focused care coordination, patient education, and proactive disease management. This model has resulted in costs 18% below industry average,[2] while tangibly increasing quality: hospital admissions are 42% below national average,[3] average length of stay is 32% below traditional Medicare FFS, and diabetic amputation rates are 67% below traditional FFS.[4] These results have led some health policy experts to point to CareMore as one of the most innovative models to reform Medicare. However, CareMore has also been criticized as a one-off success story that will not be able to scale beyond its core markets.

History[edit]

CareMore Health System was founded by Dr. Sheldon Zinberg in 1991 in an effort to reorganize the healthcare delivery system to proactively manage health and improve quality in high risk populations. The company’s website highlights that the name “CareMore” was selected as a representation of its philosophy and mission-driven nature. By 1993, the group had grown to include 28 offices in the greater Los Angeles area.[5] CareMore restructured in 1997 as a privately managed Medicare health plan, shifting its focus to primarily elderly, high risk patients. In 2003, it formalized this focus, becoming a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. As an MA plan, CareMore embraced full capitation reimbursement, aligning its financial incentives with favorable patient outcomes.[6]

In 2006, JP Morgan’s CCMP Capital acquired CareMore, refining and expanding the plan’s model of care. CareMore introduced a number of Special Needs Plans in 2007 that were aimed at high-cost, high-need patients with chronic diseases. By 2010, CareMore had expanded to Northern California, Arizona, and Nevada. Serving over 50,000 patients, CareMore was acquired by WellPoint – now Anthem – in 2011 for $800 million.[7][8] Between 2011 and 2016, CareMore diversified its care delivery services by providing care to Medicaid and Dual-Eligible patients in CA, NV, TN, OH, and IA.

CareMore Model Overview[edit]

CareMore’s clinical model is designed to improve coordination across care settings and proactively manage patients with high-risk, chronic conditions. The company does this through three primary mechanisms: the CareMore Care Center, CareMore’s chronic care management programs, and the CareMore Extensivist.

The CareMore Neighborhood Care Center[edit]

CareMore operates neighborhood-based care centers that act as supplementary extensions of the patient's primary care physician offices. The goal of the Care Center is to provide a one-stop shop for care services, reducing travel time, likelihood of missing an appointment and duplication of efforts. Each Center provides a range of primary care medical services as well as podiatry, mental health services, diabetes management, wound management, hypertension management programs, and prevention services.[9] In 2016, CareMore announced a partnership with the ride-sharing application Lyft to provide free rides for patients to the Care Center and further increase accessibility.[10]

Chronic Care Management Programs[edit]

CareMore offers its patients a high-touch, proactive approach to chronic disease management designed to minimize the probability of an acute episode of care. After a comprehensive medical evaluation, patients with chronic conditions are enrolled in one of CareMore’s 14 different disease management programs. Once in a program, patients are seen periodically in a CareMore Care Center by CareMore’s interdisciplinary care team.[11] The team monitors disease-specific metrics to determine whether a patient requires more intensive management.[12] Roughly 30% of CareMore’s Medicare Advantage patients are engaged in a disease management program.[13] The company has seen particularly strong outcomes in its Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, End Stage Renal Disease and Diabetes programs.

The CareMore Extensivist[edit]

CareMore employs Extensivist physicians who manage hospitalized patients and monitor their transition from the hospital back to the Care Center, Skilled Nursing Facility, or other site of care. The Extensivist acts as the leader of the CareMore clinical team, connecting the company’s PCP’s, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Assistants, and Case Management teams. CareMore leadership cites this cross-functional coordinating role as a key differentiator for the model and credits the Extensivists for readmission rates approximately 40% below the national average.[14]

Outcomes[edit]

CareMore’s outcomes led Arnold Milstein and Elizabeth Gilbertson to dub CareMore a “medical home run” in their 2009 Health Affairs article.[15]

CareMore’s average length of stay is 3.7 days compared to a FFS average of 5.2 days. Bed days per 1000 is 48% lower, diabetic amputation rate is 67% lower, and end-state renal disease hospital admissions are 50% lower.[16]

From a cost perspective, CareMore has reported an 18% reduction versus the industry average.[17] An article in the American Journal of Managed Care reported cost reductions for intermediate risk patients of $500 (a 33% drop) and reductions for highest risk patients of $1,250 (a 35% drop).

CareMore claims that 97% of its members are either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their CareMore health plan. They also self-report that more than 80% have recommended the company to a friend.[18]

Expansion and Innovation[edit]

Medicaid Delivery[edit]

In 2013, CareMore expanded into the Medicaid managed care space by partnering with another Anthem subsidiary, Amerigroup, to provide coverage in Tennessee, Iowa, and Ohio. Unlike its traditional model, in the Medicaid space CareMore serves only as the patient care delivery organization, while Amerigroup provides the insurance layer.[19] Though significant gains in clinical outcomes remain to be seen, CareMore Health System and Amerigroup believe the partnership has the capability to transform Medicaid patient care across the United States.[20][21]

Dementia Care[edit]

In 2012 CareMore launched a Brain Health pilot geared towards providing support to patients suffering from dementia, with funding from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The program initially consisted of 42 patients suffering from dementia and resulted in a decrease in patients’ ER utilization and fall incidence.[22] Critics of the program suggest the pilot’s findings are not scalable over large patient bases, though CareMore is currently expanding the program through its multiple markets. Supporters of the program highlight its focus on support for the caregiver, a role that is often neglected and subject to caregiver stress.

Patient Transportation[edit]

In 2016, CareMore began a partnership with ride service company Lyft. A 1 month pilot program in which 500 patients were provided transportation to a CareMore Care Center saw average wait times of 8 minutes. Both companies believe the partnership can significantly improve patient access to healthcare services.[23]

CareMore-Emory Partnership[edit]

In 2015, CareMore began a partnership with Emory Health System in which the two entities will work together to redesign Emory’s clinical delivery infrastructure and coordination to ready the system for value-based care delivery.[24] The partnership features Emory’s adoption of the Extensivist physician role and the outpatient clinic focused on managing chronic disease. The partnership – among the first of its kind – has shown some notable improvements in care quality, with a 30-day hospital readmission rate of 8.9% for the cohort of patients cared for in the experimental model. While CareMore Health System and Emory Health System have remained optimistic about their partnership and the opportunities for other Academic medical centers to follow suit, some experts warn that the long-term results may not be as favorable as promised.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.caremore.com/About/Who-We-Are.aspx
  2. ^ Slywotzky, Tom Main and Adrian. "The Quiet Health-Care Revolution". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Lessons From CareMore: A Stepping Stone to Stronger Primary Care of Frail Elderly Patients". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  4. ^ "Site Page Down" (PDF). am.jpmorgan.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  5. ^ "History". www.caremorehealthsystem.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  6. ^ "Making Total Cost of Care Contracting Work | HealthLeaders Media". www.healthleadersmedia.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  7. ^ Lattman, Peter. "WellPoint to Buy CareMore for $800 Million". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  8. ^ "WellPoint completes CareMore acquisition". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  9. ^ "Clinical Model". www.caremorehealthsystem.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  10. ^ "We’re Bringing a Better Ride Experience to Business Travelers". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  11. ^ "Clinical Model". www.caremorehealthsystem.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  12. ^ "Lessons From CareMore: A Stepping Stone to Stronger Primary Care of Frail Elderly Patients". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  13. ^ "Lessons From CareMore: A Stepping Stone to Stronger Primary Care of Frail Elderly Patients". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  14. ^ "Reinventing the Way Medicaid Delivers Care". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  15. ^ Milstein, Arnold; Gilbertson, Elizabeth (2009-09-01). "American Medical Home Runs". Health Affairs 28 (5): 1317–1326. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.28.5.1317. ISSN 0278-2715. PMID 19738247. 
  16. ^ "Site Page Down" (PDF). am.jpmorgan.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  17. ^ Slywotzky, Tom Main and Adrian. "The Quiet Health-Care Revolution". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  18. ^ Slywotzky, Tom Main and Adrian. "The Quiet Health-Care Revolution". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  19. ^ "Reinventing the Way Medicaid Delivers Care". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  20. ^ "Reinventing the Way Medicaid Delivers Care". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  21. ^ "Amerigroup Bringing CareMore Model to TennCare Members in Shelby County | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  22. ^ "Two Ways to Better Care for Patients with Dementia". Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  23. ^ EricNewcomer, Eric Newcomer. "Lyft Is Racing to Win More Corporate Clients". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  24. ^ "Emory, CareMore will collaborate to bring value care model to seniors". news.emory.edu. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  25. ^ "One Path to Value-Based Care for Academic Medical Centers". 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 

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