Greater Newark ACO Gains Certification

Greater Newark residents are receiving a major enhancement in healthcare quality and access.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services has certified the Healthy Greater Newark ACO as a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization to serve three zip codes where the need for health care services is high.

The Healthy Greater Newark ACO covers zip codes 07103, 07108 and 07112 in Newark.

“These areas have been found to have a significant number of people who experience higher rates of emergency room visits and a greater rate of hospital admissions than those living in other parts of the city,” said Denise V. Rodgers, chair of the board of directors of Healthy Greater Newark ACO. “Not only will the ACO improve access to care, it will provide supportive services to people in their homes and in the community. This will have a significant impact in reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits that place enormous burdens on the patients themselves and our area hospitals.”

Rodgers, vice chancellor for interprofessional programs at Rutgers Biomedical Health Services, also said that the ACO will focus on improving care for chronically ill children, as well as enhancing perinatal and maternal health services.

The Greater Newark Health Care Coalition, chaired by John Brennan, president and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, played a key role in the establishment of the Healthy Greater Newark ACO, which has been in development for several years.

To support Healthy Greater Newark ACO, the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the New Jersey Department of Human Services will provide claims data for beneficiaries of services who live in the designated zip codes.

“Throughout the country, healthcare is moving out of hospitals and into outpatient settings,” Rodgers said. “The Healthy Greater Newark ACO is an opportunity to help strengthen availability and access to primary care for Newark residents and to demonstrate how our expertise can be a model for other ACOs. We’re grateful to The Nicholson Foundation for its support of the New Jersey Medicaid ACO community thus far and look forward to striving together for better care of our residents.”

ACO’s are groups of healthcare providers and facilities that voluntarily join a coordinated effort to provide quality care primarily in underserved areas.

On Wednesday, July 1, at 12:30 p.m., the QI Collaborative will host a webinar and teleconference with the applicants to discuss their plans for the first year of the demonstration project, and how they plan to improve quality, improve patient experience, and reduce health care costs in their regions.

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