A large medical practice is being recognized for its effort to save money and improve patient care. Coastal Medical has earned recognition from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The high rating comes for Coastal Medical’s shared savings program, a new model of paying for health care under Obamacare. Here’s how it works: Coastal Medical has contracts with several health insurers that say, 'if you keep patients healthier, and save us money, we’ll split the savings with you.'
“And hopefully over time as this becomes more widespread," said Coastal Medical’s CEO Dr. Al Kurose, "the payers (or insurers) will be able to return a portion of that value back to the employer or the consumer by providing some premium relief.”
Kurose says Coastal Medical saved more than $15 million dollars last year by helping patients stay healthier and keeping them out of the hospital. The company has also created more than 150 new positions to help manage the new system. He says their system employs teams of providers to help patients manage chronic diseases and clinics offer weekend and evening appointments.
“How does that all translate? When you look at our cost results, the places where we were able to accomplish the most savings were reductions in emergency room visits, reductions in hospitalizations, reductions in 30-day readmissions," said Kurose.