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Colo.: $3M from Medicaid back to taxpayers

Dec. 14, 2012 at 2:00 AM

DENVER, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A Colorado Accountable Care Collaborative, part of healthcare reform, resulted in $20 million in reduced Medicaid expenditures, officials say.

ACCs are designed to merge ambulatory primary care with multi-specialty, hospital, rehabilitation and other healthcare entities and needs -- linked via innovative electronic medical record and health Internet technology platforms to achieve seamless and comprehensive medicine at lower costs.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing also said it would return nearly $3 million to Colorado and federal taxpayers.

The department brought the ACC program to state lawmakers as a budget reduction program in 2009 with the expectation that the program would not only pay for itself, but reduce taxpayer expenditures in the future.

In the ACC's first year, three key performance indicators improved. There was:

-- an 8.6 percent reduction in hospital readmissions among ACC clients.

-- Overall 1 percent increase among Medicaid clients using hospital emergency rooms, but only a .23 percent increase among ACC enrollees.

-- a 3.3 percent decrease among ACC clients for high cost imaging.

"We're very pleased with the results and how the program is developing," Laurel Karabatsos, deputy Medicaid director, said in a statement. "We believed we were making the right estimates to begin with, and we're very pleased that everything is pointing in the right direction."

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