Henry Ford Health and local partners dissolve clinical network


The organization announced on Friday that Affirmant Health, Michigan’s largest comprehensive clinical network, will be closed by the end of 2021. The network consists of more than 5,400 doctors.

After its members voted unanimously to end their agreement, the Portage-based responsible care organization is disbanding. Affirmant’s ACOs include Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, Lansing’s Sparrow Health, Saginaw’s Covenant HealthCare, Kalamazoo’s Bronson Healthcare Group, and Spectrum Health’s Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.

Spectrum Health as a whole withdrew from ACO in 2017.

The organization stated in a press release that during the six years of operation, Affirmant shared savings of $75 million.

The group voted to dissolve, mainly because members became more competitive and did not work together as required by the agreement.

Katy Velten, Affirmant’s interim COO and communications director, said: “We were very successful in achieving our goal; we knocked it out of the park.” “But in order to remain successful, you must cooperate and support those who provide value-based care. Mission, this is more important than the goals of your own personal health system. This is difficult to do.”

Velten said that the highly competitive healthcare environment makes it more difficult for the organization to reach consensus among its members.

Spectrum is merging with Beaumont Health, HFHS’ largest competitor, to create the state’s largest healthcare system, thereby increasing the risk of competition.

“Our leadership in different health systems has changed, which brings changes to the strategy,” Velten said. “Our initial strategy worked… but with the emergence of new leadership and a shift in focus, things may derail.”

Velten confirmed that HFHS and Spectrum have other ACOs.

Mark Kopson, partner of Bloomfield Hills law firm Plunkett Cooney PC and chairman of its healthcare business, said that as long as the ACO performs well, losing an ACO can be a problem for its members and patients.

“By participating in ACO, you can eliminate differences and push everyone to achieve high performance, financial efficiency, and good results,” Kopson said. “If the performance is better, then in this case, the savings will be shared between the payer and the provider. If it is a high-performance ACO network, then the loss of ACO will adversely affect the provider’s finances and healthcare. Patients the result of.

“If it is not very successful, then there is a strong argument that you did not lose too much.”

Velten believes that member organizations will continue to achieve cost savings and quality improvements under Affirmant through their own or new ACOs.

“Honestly, through the work they have done for us, they will be able to take it to the next organization they join,” Velten said. “This is a very meaningful job, and I hope they can continue.”

The last day of Affirmant is December 31, and the company’s number of employees has been reduced from 12 to 5.

Editor’s note: The previous version of this article incorrectly described the tension between Affirmant’s partners.

This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crane’s Detroit business.



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