Agenda Spring 2019

Newly Confirmed: CMS Administrator Verma, Opening Keynote


Unable to attend in person?  Click here for more information about registering for the live webcast.

NAACOS conferences deliver valuable policy insights and operational strategies for ALL accountable care organizations. Our upcoming conference on April 25 and 26 will draw more than 650 ACO leaders from across the country and will feature presentations from noted ACO experts and CMS officials, as well as opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer learning. Pre-conference workshops draw more than 150 ACO leaders for a deeper understanding of specific issues.  NAACOS conferences are the only events organized exclusively by ACOs. 

Conference Schedule  
April 24 - Pre-Conference Workshops 1:00 - 5:00 pm 
April 25 - Main Meeting 7:30 am - 6:30 pm
April 26 - Main Meeting 7:30 am - 3:00 pm


Blue ACO Administrators Track
Green Advanced ACO Track
Orange Clinical Team Track


Thursday, April 25

7:30 – 8:15 am

Sponsored Breakfasts


8:30 – 10:00 am

Clif Gaus, President and CEO, NAACOS

Seema VermaAdministrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Administrator Verma will open the conference where her appearance follows CMS’s December 2018 Pathways to Success final rule regarding the Shared Savings Program, Medicare’s largest value-based purchasing program.

Discussants: Emily Brower, Trinity Health; Kimberly Kauffman, Summit Medical Group; Thomas Kloos, Atlantic ACO and Healthcare Quality Partners ACO; Stephen Nuckolls, Coastal Carolina Quality Care


10:00 – 10:30 am



10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Adapting Your ACO to CMS's Latest Rule – Part 1
(ACO Administrator Track)
Chair: Jennifer Gasperini, NAACOS
Panelist: Allison Brennan, NAACOS 

In this session, NAACOS staff will review new federal policies affecting ACOs, including Pathways to Success. A follow up session on Friday at 11:45 a.m. will feature ACO leaders discussing their strategies for adapting to greater risk. 

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Clinical Care Redesign
(Clinical Team Track)
Chair: Rob Fields, Mount Sinai Health System
Panelist: Stella Safo, Mount Sinai Health System; Lawrence Ward, Delaware Valley ACO

Success in value-based care requires a fundamental change in how we deliver care. This includes the implementation of team based care, the use of data and technology, as well as new strategies to affect behavior change for our patients. This panel will discuss the strategy and implementation of clinical redesign across two different systems as well as an example of a model for highest risk patients using a multi-disciplinary approach.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Leveraging Community Services to Mitigate Social Determinates of Health
(Advanced ACO Track)

Chair: Emily Brower, Trinity Health
Panelists: Andrea Cichra, South Bend Clinic; Dana Pedrick, Quality Health Alliance; Debbie Welle-Powell, Essentia Health

Hear from ACO colleagues who have built connections with community support networks to address the non-medical needs of their ACO population. ACOs are using these networks and services to address the social determinants of health as part of a whole patient approach to improving care and reducing cost. The panelists will share their journey including this work as part of their overall strategy, and the results they are starting to see.

12:00 – 1:30 pm

Lunch Plenary

Clinical Transformation in an ACO
Thomas Graf, MD 
President, Ascension Medical Group

Following lunch, Dr. Tom Graf will share his insight as a former ACO leader and the current health plan executive into how ACOs can transform clinical practice for improved patient care and reduced cost.

1:30 – 2:00 pm



2:00 – 3:30 pm

ACO Innovations
Chair: Jennifer Moore, MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization
Panelists: Jami Berger, Arizona Care Network; Nathan Moore, BJC Medical Group; Tom DiPiro, CHESS Health Solutions

How do ACOs innovate? Learn about award-winning innovations and how you can apply their success to your ACO. This session will feature the winning submissions to NAACOS Call for ACO Innovations.

2:00 – 3:30 pm

Using Technology in Case Management
(Clinical Team Track)
Chair: Tony Reed, Geisinger Health System
Panelist: Michael Helle, UCSF ACO; Jennifer Houlihan, OneCare Vermont ACO; Joann Sciandra, Geisinger Health System

This panel will explore technology used in combination with successful case management in value based healthcare, such as ReDSTM Vests, blue tooth scales, interactive voice response systems, tele-monitoring and adherence technology and more. These organizations bring years of experience in successful deployment of technology and best practices for case management to enhance patient management services.

2:00 – 3:30 pm

Optimizing the Overlap Between ACOs and Other VBC Models
(Advanced ACO Track
Chair: Travis Broome, Aledade
Panelists: Francois de Brantes, Remedy Partners; Katherine Schneider, Delaware Valley ACO

Value based payment is becoming a very crowded space. ACOs that can navigate the total value based payment space will outperform those that only focus on their own model and fee for service. This panel will help you optimize three areas of overlap: managing multiple models under one organization, working with other organizations in your market on multiple models and understanding the financial impact of model overlap.

2:00 – 3:30 pm

Adapting Your ACO to CMS's Latest Rule – Part 2
(ACO Administrator Track)
Chair: Stephen Nuckolls, Coastal Carolina Quality Care
Panelists: Gary Albers, Imperium Health; Mark Foulke, Privia; Sandra Van Trease, BJC HealthCare ACO

In this session, ACO leaders will discuss their strategies for adapting to greater risk.  The first part of this session takes place on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. where NAACOS staff will review new federal policies affecting ACOs. 

3:30 – 4:00 pm



4:00 – 5:30 pm

Peer to Peer Exchange

Each ACO model has its own set of features, challenges, and strategies for success. Attend a peer exchange exclusively with your ACO peers where you can share your challenges, learn from peers, and hear from experts about the strategies that work for your type of ACO.

Most Risk (Track 3 or Enhanced Track)

  • Adriana Garcia, St. Josephs Health ACO
  • Sandra Van Trease, BJC ACO

Minimal Risk (Track 1+, 2, or Basic C/D/E)

  • Megan Reyna, Advocate Aurora Health
  • Jeff Forman, Bayview Physician Services
  • Lorri Havlovitz, Wellcare Health System

No Risk (Track 1, or Basic A/B)

  • Mark Calderon, Optimus Healthcare Partners
  • Tim Groniger, Caravan Health

Next Gen

  • Meg Costello, NEQCA Accountable Care
  • Melissa Schmutzer, Wellcare Health System

Private Payer Contracts

  • Zak Ramadan-Jradi, MultiCare Connected Care
  • Jamie Reedy, Summit Medical Group

5:30 – 6:30 pm




Friday, April 26

7:30 – 8:15 am

Sponsored Breakfasts


8:30 – 9:30 am


Healthcare Leaders on the Future of Value-based Care
Moderator: Katherine Schneider, Delaware Valley ACO

The conference will feature a plenary with Brian Gragnolati, chair of the American Hospital Trustees, and Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, chair-elect of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees. The two healthcare leaders will share their thoughts on the future of value-based care as well as their organization’s initiatives. 

9:30 – 10:00 am



10:00 – 11:30 am

Troubleshooting ACO Compliance
(ACO Administrator Track)
Chair: Kimberly Busenbark, Wilems Resource Group, Inc.
Panelists: Ben Gazaway, RevelationMD; Sarah Grantham, Evolent Health

This session will include tangible tips for implementing an effective compliance program, closing training gaps, responding to and preparing for regulatory changes, and handling a response to CMS when you get a request for information, notice of noncompliance, special monitoring plan, and/or Initial Readiness Reviews. Come join our discussion, share tips from your ACO, and hear how others have managed to troubleshoot some of the most common obstacles in ACO Compliance.

10:00 – 11:30 am

New Frontiers in Achieving Value in Post-Acute Care
(Clinical Team Track)
Chair: Denise Prince, Mount Sinai Health System
Panelists: Amina Ahmed, Summit Health Management; Jeff Farber, The New Jewish Home; Jennifer Puzzifero, Summit Health Management; Heidi White, Duke Connected Care

Leaders from ACOs and post-acute provider systems will provide their perspectives on defining success in a world of changing payment systems, new regulations, and market consolidation. Topics for this session will include the evolution and current state of SNF and home health networks, application of new technologies, and how leaders on both sides measure and create value.

10:00 – 11:30 am

ACO Physician Engagement: Strategies for Driving Clinical and Financial Outcomes from Within 
(Advanced ACO Track)

Chair: Jessica Landin, WakeMed Community Care
Panelist: Kathryn Cziraky, WakeMed Key Community Care; Megan Harkey, Houston Methodist; Roy McConnell, Deaconess Care Integration 

To be successful, an ACO needs active participation and leadership from its physician members. Yet these clinicians often work across large geographic areas and in diverse settings — employed and independent, urban and rural — and rely on multiple EHRs. Hear examples of how ACOs have leveraged physicians’ wisdom to improve clinical outcomes and reduce utilization. Presenters in this session will discuss their approaches for effective physician engagement, including pod strategies, performance-based reporting and provider incentives.


10:00 – 11:30 am

Clinical Issues for Physician Led ACOs
Chair: Elissa Langley, Triad Healthcare Network
Panelists: Victoria Farias, Rio Grande Valley Health Alliance; David Grapey, Triad HealthCare Network; Melanie Matthews, Physicians of Southwest Washington

In this session, participants will hear from successful physician-led ACOs about topics that are important to this type of organizational structure. Panelists will explore how these ACOs have found success in accountable care, learn from pitfalls and challenges they have faced, and understand how to achieve operational excellence.

11:30 – 11:45 am



11:45 am – 1:15 pm

ACO Leaders in Quality: What’s the Secret to Their Success?

(ACO Administrator Track)
Chair: Richard Feifer, Genesis Healthcare ACO
Panelists: Annette DuBard, Aledade ACO; Dan McCall, Hattiesburg Clinic; Rhonda Smith and Kim Williams, Novant Health

 In this session, the audience will hear from some of the highest scoring ACOs in the 2017 Performance Year (PY), including the winner of the NAACOS Quality Award. Panelists will describe how their ACOs achieved high marks on quality measures in PY 2017. They will share their strategies for success and discuss internal processes for driving improved clinical quality. The session will also discuss tips on successful ACO Web Interface quality measure submission as well as pitfalls to avoid.



11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Clinical Models for High-Need High-Cost Patients
(Clinical Team Track)
Chair: Rob Mechanic, Institute for Accountable Care
Panelist: Kenneth Coburn, Health Quality Partners; Ken Kim, CMS; Bernard Ortega and Sire Sow, Mount Sinai Health System

High-need, high-cost (HNHC) individuals make up five percent of the population but incur nearly 50 percent of health care spending. Delivering effective care to these individuals requires holistic approaches that address medical, functional and social needs. This session will focus on two proven approaches: home visit programs using community health workers, paramedics and nurses; and extensivist models that deploy multi-disciplinary teams to comprehensively address the needs of high-risk individuals.

11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Negotiating Effectively with Private Payers 
(Advanced ACO Track)

Chair: Tom Kloos, Atlantic and Healthcare Quality Partners ACOs
Panelists: Kevin Joyce, Atlantic Health System; Allie Torres, Primary Partners

This panel will explore some major themes related to private payer ACO arrangements, including such things as trend against market issues, attribution differences, calculating total medical expense, and quality multipliers, as well as nuances our panelists have experienced in their negotiations for value based programs. The panelists bring years of experience in both successful and unsuccessful commercial value based program relationships.

1:15 – 3:00 pm

Lunch Plenary 

Open Mic with CMS
Moderator: Allison Brennan, NAACOS
Panelists: John Pilotte and Amy Bassano, CMS 

Description: This session includes a town hall format and is an important way for ACOs and CMS to have an open dialogue about the Medicare ACO program, including discussion on evolving policies and how ACOs fit into CMS’s overall goal of improving Medicare payment and healthcare delivery. This is an excellent opportunity for ACO executives to pose questions and receive answers directly from CMS leaders and to hear the newest developments straight from the agency.