Darwin Health Announces 2016 ACO of the Year Awards

RGV ACO Health Providers wins National ACO of the Year; ranked No. 1 in quality while earning $12.6 million in shared savings.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Darwin Health today announced the winners of its 2016 ACO of the Year Awards. Darwin’s proprietary model, which ranks accountable care organizations (ACOs) on quality and financial performance, utilized the most recently available data (2015) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Unlike the CMS overall quality score, Darwin’s methodology does not award bonus points for year-over-year improvement.

“In these uncertain times, when the Affordable Care Act is facing mounting challenges, we thought it was important to put a spotlight on high-performing organizations,” said Darwin Health CEO John Marchica. “Some good ideas have come from the ACA, which is clearly demonstrated by the many accountable care organizations that are improving the quality of care while saving money for American taxpayers.”

Darwin’s National ACO of the Year, the Rio Grande Valley Accountable Care Organization, ranked first in quality and had $21.6 million in net savings in 2015, resulting in $12.6 million in shared savings for the organization.

“A culture of continuous improvement was promoted since inception,” said Joseph Peña, MD, CEO and medical director for RGV ACO Health Providers. “Our efforts in an intense care coordination program, working together with the IT department to improve quality and decrease costs, have paid off.”

Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs eligible for an ACO of the Year Award had to demonstrate exceptional quality as well as shared savings. Darwin has selected one national, four regional and nine divisional ACOs as 2016 winners.

Memorial Hermann ACO had the greatest net savings of all MSSP ACOs, at $89.1 million, but scored only slightly above average on Darwin’s overall quality score. Coastal Carolina Quality Care, which ranked third nationwide for quality, had shared losses of just over $1 million. Marchica said in the spirit of The Triple Aim, it was important that both quality and financial performance be included to be eligible for the ACO of the Year award.

The 2016 ACO of the Year winners are:


Rio Grande Valley ACO Health Providers, LLC


Midwest: Kansas Primary Care Alliance

West: Commonwealth Primary Care ACO, LLC

Northeast: Central Maine ACO

South: RGV ACO Health Providers

A complete list of award recipients can be found here.

About Darwin Health

Scottsdale, AZ-based Darwin Health is a research-based management consulting firm focused on health care delivery models—physician groups, health systems and home health—and emerging payer models, like accountable care organizations and bundled payments. We work with our clients to create partnering opportunities and identify ways to improve patient care.


John Marchica
Darwin Health @ (480) 305-2059 or jm@darwinhealth.net

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SOURCE Darwin Health

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