Skip to main content

Park Nicollet expands models of care to improve quality, reduce costs

Care improvements part of Next Generation Accountable Care Organization


January 13, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS - In its third year of participation in the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Park Nicollet expanded care coordination and met or exceeded the benchmark for 23 quality and patient satisfaction measures in 2018.

Park Nicollet is one of only 39 health systems to participate in the Next Generation ACO Model nationwide and the only one in Minnesota. Organizations voluntarily participate and share savings or losses with Medicare. In 2018, Park Nicollet’s overall costs exceeded the target by nearly $650,000.

“Park Nicollet has participated in this type of Model for the last 7 years and overall during this time has seen a significant cost reduction for our Medicare patients. This Model has helped our organization to find new ways to help improve care for all of our patients, “said Kristi Lyon, president of the Park Nicollet Next Generation ACO. “It is one example of how we can make health care more simple and affordable.”

Park Nicollet is one of six Next Generation ACOs selected to participate in a learning and action network with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and West Health. There are several areas of focus where Park Nicollet has seen significant results:

  • Improved care for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients. The Park Nicollet COPD patients who received services had a significant decrease in emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
  • Park Nicollet modelled improvements for COPD patients after implementing a team-based model of care in 2016 for about 100 patients with advanced kidney disease or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). This model lowered costs for Park Nicollet ESRD patients by $2.8 million over three years.
  • Annual wellness visits increased by 25% from 2017-2018 for ACO patients. This visit is not a physical exam. Instead, it is an opportunity to identify preventive care needs, any social determinants of health that need addressing, and documenting decisions about care in an advance directive.
  • Improved care and lowered costs through a waiver that allows Medicare patients to be admitted to a nursing home or other skilled nursing facility directly without requiring a three day hospital stay. The average cost in Minnesota for a hospital stay is an estimated $2,300 per day; compared to an estimated $250-$300 per day in a nursing home.

In 2019, Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Park Nicollet as one of 130 ACOs to know.

About Park Nicollet Health Services

Park Nicollet Health Services is part of HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. Park Nicollet is an integrated care system that includes Methodist Hospital, Park Nicollet Clinic and Park Nicollet Foundation. For more information, visit

Back to top