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White House, Federal Agencies Honor Westchester Health Associates

Westchester Health Associates was recognized by the White House for their success in creating alternative care delivery and payment models.
Westchester Health Associates was recognized by the White House for their success in creating alternative care delivery and payment models. Photo Credit:

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester Health Associates recently was recognized at the White House during an event that launched the Healthcare Payment Learning In Action Network, hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Center For Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Westchester Health Associates Chief Medical Officer Nancy Beran was invited to showcase Westchester Health’s great success in creating and implementing alternative care delivery and payment models the past five years at the 120-physician, multi-specialty, community-based medical group.

Beran was doubly honored by having the opportunity to introduce President Barack Obama to the audience. At the White House event, Beran committed along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell, to increase Westchester Health Associates’ already-strong efforts to improve population health, expanding its involvement in value-based care and alternative payment models.

These measures include advanced primary care medical homes or possibly an Accountable Care Organization. Beran also described how Westchester Health Associates is enthusiastically embracing alternative payment models to achieve the ambitious goals of 30 percent value-based contracting in 2016 and as much as 50 percent by 2018.

“It is only with the partnership of both CMS and other payers that we can meet these goals,” added Beran. “Over the past five years, we have learned that implementing a new model takes a financial commitment from multiple sources, both within our group as well from the payers. There also must be a critical mass of payers aligned on the common goals of the program, so that change will be meaningful and significant in the trial population.”

Westchester Health Associates also partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield to improve quality, access and the value of care. Through Blue Cross Blue Shield’s primary care initiative, Westchester Health received more than $200,000 in shared savings during the first year of the program. Countless success stories have surfaced during the past few years.

“While the success stories are many, we do need to acknowledge that change can be very difficult for many practices and the pace of change we are advocating is rapid,” said Westchester Health’s President and CEO Peter Mercurio.

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