The model is among those encouraged by the Affordable Care Act to shift the focus of health care toward maintaining the overall health of the population. It emphasizes better coordination of care for the sickest patients, who account for a disproportionate share of the nation's health-care spending.
The expansion announced Thursday increased the number of Horizon members in the program, which started at the beginning of 2010, from 80,000 to 154,000. Horizon has 3.6 million members.
Forty-eight primary-care practices at 145 locations participate in the program, including dozens in South Jersey, the nonprofit insurer based in Newark said. The medical home program has trimmed costs 10 percent and emergency room visits 26 percent, Horizon said.
"Our intention eventually is to have up to 80 percent of our total membership in these models," Albano said. Horizon planned a five-year introduction in 2010.
Physician practices in the program can earn incentive payments that amount to as much as 40 percent of their income if they meet goals for quality, increased patient satisfaction, and cost reduction.
Advocare, a Marlton-based physician practice group with 390 doctors in 100 locations in the Philadelphia region, has just adopted Horizon's program at 17 of its practices.
"We will be on the patients and reaching out to them and making sure our patients get the appropriate care," Advocare founder John M. Tedeschi said. "When that happens, it reduces costs, reduces hospital stays, reduces complications."
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