Accountable Care Organization
BACON Podcast Series

Brief ACO News (BACON) Podcast Series

BACON is the MaineHealth ACO’s podcast for providers, offering relevant news and engaging interviews delivered in brief monthly episodes. Hosted by practicing physicians Heather Ward and Mike Clark, the show is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Episode 62: Helping Our Patients Age in Place

Evidence suggests that older adults age more successfully when they’re able to stay in their homes or in their home communities. In this episode of BACON, we talk to gerontologist Dr. Heidi Wierman and healthy aging advocate Jess Maurer to learn how primary care providers can help their patients age in place safely and comfortably. They discuss strategies for working with individual patients and look at ways to engage with, and support, community-based efforts to support healthy aging.

Podcast Episodes

Click on episode names below for audio and related content.

Episode 62: Helping Our Patients Age in Place
Gerontologist Dr. Heidi Wierman and healthy aging advocate Jess Maurer discuss how primary care providers can help their patients age in place safely and comfortably.

Episode 61: The Remarkable Benefits of HPV Vaccination
The HPV vaccine has been proven effective in preventing cancer but our vaccination rates could be higher. MaineHealth’s Dr. Melissa Keeport and Caroline Zimmerman discuss how primary care can help.

Episode 60: A Symposium Sneak Peek
Dr. James Powers and Sue Seekins preview their May 22 symposium workshop on payment bundles.

Episode 59: A Recipe for Reducing Length of Stay
In less than a year, Southern Maine Health Care reduced length of stay by thirteen percent and saved the health system nearly four million dollars. Dr. Mike Albaum explains how they did it.

Episode 58: Our New CMO Kendra Emery DO
Dr. Kendra Emery, the ACO’s Chief Medical Officer, providers her insights and plans for the organization and shares how her vision aligns with ACO priorities.

Episode 57: Palliative Care Insights from Becca Hutchinson
MaineHealth Medical Group Senior Director for Palliative Care Becca Hutchinson, MD, provides her unique and inspiring perspective on the role of palliative care in medicine today. 

Episode 56: Natisa Dill on Patient Safety & Care Variation 
MaineHealth Medical Group’s VP for Quality and Safety, Natisa Dill, discusses the link between unwarranted care variation and patient safety.

Episode 55: Memorial Hospital Improves Primary Care Access
Memorial’s Matt Dunn, DO, discusses his primary care team’s success in increasing patient access. 

Episode 54: MHACO’s Care Variation Reduction Strategies 
Carl DeMars, MD, discusses the ACO’s two areas of focus for unwarranted care variation reduction, end-of-life care and transitions of care. 

Episode 53: Latest results in MIPS & MSSP
The ACO’s Emily Levi reports MIPS and MSSP results for our participants and the financial implications.

Episode 52: Introducing MHACO’s 2022 Annual Report 
MHACO’s President Jen Moore announces the organization’s recently released 2022 Annual Report and shares positive performance news.

Episode 51: Exploring Physical Literacy
Pediatric sports medicine physicians introduce the concept of physical literacy and share resources for helping improve the physical literacy of pediatric patients.

Episode 50: Uncovering the Mysteries of HCCs
There’s one set of diagnosis codes that carry much greater weight than all the rest: HCCs. What are HCCs and why are they so important? Scott Williams, MD, joins Heather and Mike with the answers.

Episode 49: Health Equity & Cultural Competence
MaineHealth VP for DEI Ryan Polly explores aspects of health equity and cross-cultural competency in the clinical setting.

Episode 48: Reducing Unwarranted Care Variation 
MaineHealth ACO Chief Operating Officer Shannon Banks announces two initiatives aimed at reducing unwarranted care variation.

Episode 47: Seeking Gender Equity in Healthcare Leadership 
Gayle Capozzalo of the Equity Collaborative addresses gender inequity in healthcare leadership.

Episode 46: Yes, We Can Improve Primary Care Access 
How Memorial Hospital dramatically increased primary care access.

Episode 45: Confronting Concerns About Medicare Advantage 
Tim Goltz, MD, joins Heather and Mike to discuss the ethics of participating in MA plans.

Episode 44: Exciting Changes to the Quality Heat Map
The ACO’s Laura Larssen joins Heather and Mike to discuss measures that have just been added to the MHACO Quality Heat Map, including a first-ever health disparity measure.

Episode 43: Provider Wellness & Great ACO Performance 
MHACO President Jen Moore shares MSSP and MIPS performance results, plus Christine Hein, MD, on provider wellness.

Episode 42: Funding Innovation with Shared Savings
MHACO’s Chief Medical Officer announces new innovation projects funded by a special allocation of shared savings.

Episode 41: Community Health Workers & a Fond Farewell
The role of community health workers in preventive medicine. Also, a farewell to BACON co-host Julie Grosvenor, MD.

Episode 40: New AWV Tools & Childhood Obesity Prevention
New tools for planning and completing Medicare annual wellness visits. Plus, an update on the Let’s Go childhood obesity prevention program.

Episode 39: MA Star Ratings & Precise Documentation
Two interviews to help succeed in two-sided risk Medicare Advantage contracts: Lauren Purcell on MA plan star ratings; Brett Loffredo, MD on improving the precision of clinical documentation.

Episode 37: Annual Report & Access to Care
The ACO’s new annual report shows strong performance in 2021. Plus, MaineHealth Access to Care celebrates 20 years of service to Maine’s most vulnerable populations.

Episode 36: Coding Tips & Medical Education
Coding tips from primary care doc Sam Ferguson, DO, and an intro to MMC’s amped up medical education department.

Episode 35: Toward a New Primary Care Payment Model
MaineHealth ACO Chief Medical Officer Rob Chamberlin, MD, assesses the first year of Medicare’s Primary Care First value-based payment model.

Episode 34: ACO Performance & Operational Update
The ACO’s latest performance results and operational update plus an intro to MMC’s Mitral Center for Excellence.

Episode 33: Physicians Cope with COVID
Physicians from across Maine report how they’re dealing with the ongoing and intensifying pandemic, both professionally and personally.

Episode 32: MH Medical Group President Aileen Mickey
Over the past six months, Dr. Aileen Mickey has been leading the development of the MaineHealth Medical Group. Aileen joins us to discuss her vision for the group and priorities for the year to come.

Episode 31: Next Day Joint Replacement plus ACA Open Enrollment 
MMP orthopedic surgeons discuss advancements in joint replacement. Also, how to help patients enroll in ACA marketplace plans.

Episode 30: Clinical Documentation & Pediatric Behavioral Health 
Brett Loffredo, MD, offers clinical documentation tips and Amy Mayhew, MD and Melissa Keeport, MD, on helping PCPs address pediatric behavioral health.

Episode 29: Sharing in Success 
The ACO earns shared savings and Ross Feller, MD on making hand surgery less expensive.

Episode 28: What’s the Point of an ACO, Anyway? 
A reminder of what ACO’s do and why they do it, plus Brad Samojla, DPM, on the transformational power of a telescribe.

Episode 27: MaineHealth CEO Andy Mueller
New MaineHealth CEO Andy Mueller shares his initial impressions and immediate priorities. Also, physician volunteers reflect on their experiences at the COVID vaccine clinics.

Episode 26: National Healthcare Policy & Local Primary Care Access Improvement
How national policy is shaping up around telehealth and value-based care, plus expanding primary care access at Memorial in North Conway.

Episode 25: A Peek Inside Our New Annual Report
Our new annual report is packed full of data. Plus, an interview with LincolnHeath’s Andy Russ, MD.

Episode 24: Why Star Ratings Matter
The financial implications of Medicare Advantage star ratings for providers and ACOs, plus group therapy through tele-psychiatry in midcoast Maine.

Episode 23 – The ACO’s Latest Performance Results
MaineHealth ACO President Jennifer Moore reports on final cost, quality and utilization results from value-based contracts that settled in 2020. Also, LincolnHealth’s Timothy Goltz, MD, on the power of poetry to improve meetings.

Episode 22 – Dora Mills Answers COVID Vaccine Questions
Dr. Mills answers providers’ questions about the COVID vaccination roll-out in Maine as of January 25th. Also, establishing “age-friendly care” at MMC.

Episode 21 - New Clinical Documentation Guides
Clinical documentation guides; Scot Remick, MD discusses new opportunities for Maine patients to participate in clinical trials.

Episode 20 - Innovating Primary Care Payment 
Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, on population-based payment for primary care; Gary Hochheiser, MD, introduces the MATRIx program.

Episode 19 - Our Medicare Shared Savings Program Results
Rob Chamberlin, MD, reports financial and quality results just in from the 2019 performance year of the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Episode 18 – A Medicare Reimbursement Increase 
MaineHealth ACO President Jen Moore on the link between performance in the Medicare Incentive-based Payment System (MIPS) and a bump in Medicare reimbursement.

Episode 17 – Innovation Grant Winners
Projects that won innovation awards from the MaineHealth ACO; an effort led by Elizabeth Seiverling, MD, to train and engage primary care providers in early detection of skin cancers.

Episode 16 – Finding Community Resources & Curbside Vaccination
MaineHealth’s new database of SDOH resources; a LincolnHealth pediatric practice’s curbside vaccination program.

Episode 15 - Race and Two Kinds of Performance
Commentary on racial inequity; positive utilization performance numbers from the ACO's new annual report; MidCoast doctors performing together in a rock band for 20 years.

 Episode 14 - The Telehealth Genie
Danielle Louder of the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center on the expanding role of Telehealth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 13 - Resuming In-Person Care
Resuming in-person care for patients with time-sensitive conditions; a new resiliency-building Project ECHO; “coding cards” to help specialists increase the precision of clinical documentation.

Episode 12 - Uncertainty and Gratitude
Mike Clark, MD and Rob Chamberlin, MD on the impact of COVID-19 on primary care.

Episode 11 - Patient Experience & Choosing SNFs
Omar Hasan, MD on patient experience; the ACO’s new Skilled Nursing Facility Annual Index.

Episode 10 - Big Changes at the Top
An interview with the incoming and outgoing presidents of the ACO; Kristen Silvia, MD, on iMAT.

Episode 9 - How We Did in 2019
2019 Results; Amanda Powell, MD on shared decision making; Sarah Shepherd, DO compares being an ED doc to an improve actor.

 Episode 8 - What’s the Point of an ACO, Anyway?
Why do accountable care organizations exist? Also, Kathryn Galbraith, MD on payer incentives; Janet Fowle, MD on Seeds of Peace.

Episode 7 - New Rules for Advanced Imaging
New Medicare rules for ordering advanced imaging; Shirley Frederick, MD on early dementia screening; Nicole Donahue, NP addresses food insecurity.

Episode 6 - A New Medicare Advantage Partnership
MaineHealth gets into MA plans; Greg Leach, MD on T’ai Chi therapy; our new CMO Rob Chamberlin, MD.

Episode 5 - Exploring Quality Measures
Provider questions about quality measures; Elizabeth Eisenhardt, MD on engaging residents in quality improvement; Doug Sawyer, MD on volunteership.

Episode 4 - Are Telescribes the Answer?
Brad Samojla, DPM on his telescribe experience; the evolution of the ACO; Nicole Cherbuliez, MD runs the Boston Marathon.

Episode 3 - Reducing Emergency Department Utilization
The Where to Go for Care infographic; Kate Herlihy, MD on reducing pediatric ED visits; Patty Cantlin, MD tours a patient garden.

Episode 2 - Better Clinical Documentation
Better clinical documentation; Eric Worthing, MD on hypertension control; Rifat Zaidi, MD helps open a school in Pakistan.

Episode 1 - The Future of MSSP
The MSSP program; Rob Merrill, MD on achieving quality targets; Dave Johnson, MD on a medical mission to India.

BACON is an independent publication of the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.

Meet Your Hosts

Michael H Clark, MD

Mike Clark, MD

Mike Clark, MD is a private practice family physician in Newcastle, Maine. He is a participant in the MaineHealth ACO and serves as a liaison between the ACO and providers.

Dr. Heather M Ward, MD

Heather M Ward, MD

Heather is a family medicine provider at WCMP Family Medicine in Belfast.

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