- Just two years after Walgreen Co. launched partnerships with three Medicare Shared Savings Program accountable care organizations (ACOs), the retail pharmacy chain confirmed to ABN that it has ended two of those relationships over the last few months.
- Walgreens parted ways with Marlton, NJ-based multi-specialty physician group Advocate, as well as Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas, according to Walgreens spokesperson James Cohn.
- Walgreens is continuing its relationship with the 100-provider multi-specialty practice Diagnostic Clinic in Largo, Fla. "This ACO benefits from having a Walgreens Health System Pharmacy located within Diagnostic Clinic, which also neighbors Largo Medical Center," Cohn said.
Walgreens said its MSSP ACO relationships have helped it to collaborate with payers and providers to offer optimal care to patients. However, the ACO program is so new that many organizations are still trying to figure out how they fit into shared-savings models, and how such models will benefit them in particular. Still, the program has added 89 new participants for 2015, some of which come from the flailing Pioneer ACO program.
Perhaps 2015 will be different, as CMS proposed a new rule that addresses program challenges, and offers providers more options and flexibility in an attempt to encourage them to take risks. CMS said the revamped ACO program will offer a greater emphasis on primary-care services and promoting transitions to performance-based risk arrangements.