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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an accountable care organization?
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of doctors and other healthcare providers who agree to work together with Medicare to give you the best possible care. ACOs may take different approaches to giving you coordinated care. Some ACOs may have special nurses that help you set up appointments or make sure your medications are in order when you enter or leave a hospital. Other ACOs may help your doctors get you equipment for monitoring your medical conditions better at home, if you need it. Most ACOs use advanced systems that let them more carefully coordinate your care, and make sure your doctor has the most up-to-date information about your health.

The goal of the ACO is to support your doctor in caring for you by making sure they have the most up-to-date information about your health and your care. For you, this means your doctors communicate better with each other, and you avoid having duplicate tests or answering the same questions over and over. Working together, your doctors can do more to follow your health, make sure you get the best possible care, and may hire additional staff to help meet your unique care needs, depending on what works best for you.

Doctors and other healthcare providers choose to participate in an ACO because they're committed to providing you with a better care experience. They may also be rewarded for offering you better, more coordinated care. If your doctor chooses to participate in an ACO, you will be notified, either in person or by letter.

An ACO isn't the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). You're still in Original Medicare, and your Medicare benefits, services, rights and protections won't change. And you still have the right to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, the same way you do now.

To find out more about ACOs:
  • Visit http://cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ACO/
  • Visit http://medicare.gov/manage-your-health/coordinating-your-care/accountable-care-organizations.html
  • Talk to your provider
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
What is Johns Hopkins Medicine Alliance for Patients (JMAP)?
The Johns Hopkins Medicine Alliance for Patients (JMAP) is an ACO which aims to improve healthcare quality and the care experience for patients. Our teams work together to deliver the best care to the populations we serve.
How do I know if I am a JMAP patient?
If you see a primary care physician at one of our participating provider groups, then you are likely a JMAP patient, unless you are part of a Medicare Advantage Plan. This means that we are already working closely with your doctor to ensure that you get better-coordinated care and an enhanced experience.

If you want more information on how to better access the services described above, talk with your primary care physician.

You can decline to share your Medicare data with an ACO at any time by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-663-4227) and tell the operator you are calling about an ACO. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
I am not a JMAP patient. How can I become one?
You can become a JMAP patient in several ways:
 
  • If you currently do not have a primary care doctor, you can find a participating doctor to set up an appointment
  • If you currently have a primary care doctor in a practice that is not part of JMAP, you can:
    - Switch to a participating doctor
    - Ask your doctor if they can join JMAP
How will JMAP improve my care?

If your doctors participate in an ACO, evidence shows that you will receive better and more coordinated care over time. This is because, in an ACO, health care providers will have access to some of your health information from Medicare. This information helps your doctor and other ACO providers track the services you have already gotten, understand where you may need more care, and find ways to facilitate key events in your health care, such as when you transfer in or out of a hospital or when you decide to switch between doctors.

Over time, if you see a doctor or health care provider participating in JMAP, you may notice that:

  • You do not have to fill out as many medical forms that ask for the same information
  • You do not need to repeat medical tests because your results are shared among your health care team
  • The health care providers that you see all know what is going on with your health because they communicate with each other
  • The providers participating in JMAP will work with you to make sure the care decisions reflect your preferences and goals

JMAP will improve your care and health outcomes as your care team does more to follow your health, makes sure you get the best care possible, and provides access to special services. At no cost, you will receive a variety of supports, tools, and services specifically designed for patients like you, and specifically tailored to your personal health needs. These represent a holistic approach to see you as a whole person, whose health depends on a variety of factors not often recognized by the health care system. The supports JMAP provides should:

·         Make it easier to stay healthy

Our care coordinators are available to work closely with you to assess your health and financial needs, coordinate your care, and work with you to ensure you are making progress on your health goals.

·         Give you fast access to world-class specialists

Our access specialists are available to help if your doctor thinks that you need rapid access to a specialist (within 48 hours), and the JMAP network contains some of the world’s best specialists.

·         Make taking your medicines simple, safe, and effective

Our pharmacists are available to work with your physician to review your records and make sure that you are only taking the medicines that you really need, and that the ones you are taking are the best combination for your conditions and age group.

·         Focus on your mind as well as your body

Our health behavioral specialists can help you navigate the sometimes confusing process of getting “plugged in” to supportive services to help with anxiety, stress, depression, low mood, quitting smoking, alcohol or drug treatment, and more.

·         Help by supporting you and your family

We have an extensive set of tools and services that help family members support their Medicare-aged loved ones and dependents. Additionally, we actively seek input and feedback about our services to Medicare patients from our Beneficiary Advisory Council, a volunteer group of JMAP patients.

How will JMAP improve value to me?

JMAP defines “value” as the things that matter most to each patient.  And the only way we can know that is by asking our patients. Because we listen, our physicians deliver more personalized healthcare and help patients achieve their goals. These goals often include non-medical aspects of care, such a desire to achieve lower out-of-pocket costs and to wait less for seeing certain specialists. Some examples of ways JMAP can improve value to you include:

  • Empowering patients

JMAP physician practices and care coordinators are specifically trained to engage and partner with their Medicare patients, to ensure that you and the care team are working towards the goals that you value most.

  • Getting the best medicines for your money

Our pharmacists can work with both you and your doctor to make sure you are on the most affordable medicines that are best for your condition and age group. Ask your JMAP primary care physician if you might benefit from this service.  

  • Avoiding unnecessary tests and services
Through using Medicare data and our state-of-the-art information systems, we improve coordination and communication among your doctors and make it so that you only get the tests that you need. For example, we do our best to make sure that nothing is ever done twice unless it truly needs repeating.