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Arkansas Health Network Improves Quality and Outcomes for Patients While Saving Medicare $12.9-Million in the Last Performance Year

The Arkansas Health Network (AHN), a physician-led, clinically integrated network (CIN) serving Arkansas patients, providers and employers through a value-based approach to healthcare, saved Medicare $12.9-million in its latest performance year. Out of 16 accountable care organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program through CommonSpirit Health, a 21 state nonprofit health system that includes CHI St. Vincent, AHN earned the highest total savings as an individual ACO.

“Working with Medicare patients as well as private employers, AHN has repeatedly proved that it is possible to realize healthcare savings by focusing on value, quality, consumer experience and compassionate care, rather than simply efficiency and reductions in healthcare coverage,” said AHN President Bob Sarkar. “We are committed to providing the best value-based care both in the industry and Arkansas by focusing on quality outcomes, thus demonstrating that we can truly reduce healthcare costs while building healthier communities.”

In the latest performance year (2019), AHN simultaneously reduced short-term in-patient hospitalizations and emergency department visits by 2% for approximately 33,000 attributed beneficiaries while maintaining a 92% overall quality rating. AHN has saved Medicare a total of $31.6 million, showing an increase in each of the last three years. This type of consistent and successful performance in both governmental and commercial health plans is rare in the industry.

Overall, the 16 ACOs with CommonSpirit Health improved care outcomes for approximately 321,000 Medicare beneficiaries and earned $37 million in shared savings for the 2019 performance year, its performance-based share of $70 million in savings to Medicare. CommonSpirit’s ACOs achieved that through proactive engagement with vulnerable patients and a suite of innovative programs to address unmet medical, behavioral and social needs.

“CommonSpirit Health is a growing community of healers and leaders building a high-performing population health engine for success in value-based payment programs,” said Bruce Swartz, Executive Vice President, Physician Enterprise for CommonSpirit Health. “Our ACOs and clinical leaders are an essential driver of this strategy, demonstrating a clear commitment to compassion across the continuum of care by building strong relationships with our patients, proactively supporting their health and wellbeing in their communities and modeling financial stewardship for sustainability.”

AHN is the largest and most successful CIN in the state of Arkansas. The organization currently manages over 111,000 patients across the state and partners with a growing network of nearly 2,400 providers, 26 Skilled Nursing Facilities and 16 hospitals in the state. With the rising cost of healthcare growing as a concern for employers across Arkansas, AHN has partnered with Arkansas Children’s Care Network to provide a unique health care delivery model designed specifically for employers. The model leverages technology and big data to pre-emptively identify high-risk and rising risk patients and then connects them with a care team of registered nurse health coaches, social workers, pharmacists and others to proactively manage their care with an emphasis on preventive, rather than reactive services. The patients’ own physicians are also engaged in this endeavor. This holistic approach drives positive outcomes for employees and their dependents and generates cost savings for employers.

About Arkansas Health Network
Arkansas Health Network is a physician driven, clinically integrated network initiative that builds on the strengths of participating providers to improve patient health, increase efficiency and enable physicians to succeed in today’s changing health care delivery and reimbursement environments. Learn more at

About CommonSpirit Health
CommonSpirit Health is a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. It was created in February 2019 through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health. CommonSpirit Health is committed to creating healthier communities, delivering exceptional patient care, and ensuring every person has access to quality health care. With a team of approximately 150,000 employees and 25,000 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, CommonSpirit Health operates 137 hospitals and more than 1000 care sites across 21 states. In FY 2019, Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health had combined revenues of nearly $29 billion and provided $4.45 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed government programs. Learn more at