Members of the Accountable Care Organization team at Lawrence County Memorial Hospital who were present when this photograph was taken are, front row from left, Amy Seed, Gary Theriac and Rita Garvey. Back, LCMH CEO Don Robbins, Christina Creech, Katie Clark and Gene Allen.
The team was recently presented with the “Go-Getter Award” by the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization.
Go-getter: “Someone who is energetic and works hard to succeed.”
Considering that the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization (IRCCO) has been built from the ground up starting in 2014, it should be able to recognize a “Go-getter” when it sees one.
Recently, IRCCO, an accountable care organization comprised of hospitals and rural healthcare clinics within the state, recognized Lawrence County Memorial Hospital in Lawrenceville as the recipient of its Go-Getter Award.
“Basically they’re recognizing that we’re one of the hospitals that has made the most improvement in our quality scores, our process changes and things like that,” said Gene Allen, manager of the hospital’s Primary Care Clinic and a member of the LCMH accountable care organization team. “It’s a really nice honor and we’re all pretty proud of it.” As part of its involvement in IRRCO, Lawrence County Memorial Hospital has added a variety of programs and processes that have been beneficial in creating better care.
“We’ve added acute care services, a care coordination program and a psychiatric program,” Allen said. “We’ve developed an ACO team in our organization that looks at quality scores, patient satisfaction and ways to better our patient’s health. Our goal is to keep people healthy and keep them out of the hospital and at home with their loved ones. We want our patients to be mindful of their healthcare needs and take an active approach to their health.”
Being in IRRCO allows the local hospital to tap into a variety of resources, according to Allen.
“As an ACO we get together and discuss the best processes,” Allen said. “We may have a better process for handling diabetes, and another hospital within our ACO may have the best process for handling COPD. We’re able to collaborate with other facilities within our own ACO and better the health for all of our patients.”
Amy Seed is in her third year as the LCMH ACO team’s care coordinator. Others involved are hospital CEO Don Robbins and CFO Larry Spour, Director of Nursing Rita Garvey, Tammy Dohoney, Gary Theriac, Meghan Waldrop, Christina Creech and Katie Clark. According to Allen, the idea behind an Accountable Care Organization is simply to provide quality care that’s more affordable, especially for Medicare patients. The goal of an ACO is to form a group of physicians, hospitals and clinics who voluntarily work together with Medicare
to provide high quality services and care through the Medicaid Shared Savings Program.
While ACOs are nothing new, Allen says that until recently they’re something that only larger hospitals were a part of. He terms IRRCO “one of the first of its kind.”
“We’re one of the first ACOs for rural hospitals,” he said. “We’ve built this from the ground up. You could say we’re pioneers.”
IRRCO was formed in 2014 by 20 independent critical access hospitals, 35 rural health clinics and 15 independent practices and at the time it had 13,000 beneficiaries. Currently, the group consists of 27 critical access hospitals and 75 rural health clinics. Beneficiaries have grown to more than 48,000.
Crawford County Hospital in Robinson is a IRCCO member, as are hospitals in Benton and Salem.