The Healthcare Standard

Atrius Health Makes the Business Case for Risk-Based Payments

July 18, 2019 – At a time when operating income is falling for most hospitals and practices, Atrius Health, Inc., the largest non-profit independent medical group in New England, is reporting a $38.7 million operating surplus. And risk-based payments are the reason why.

The group of 31 medical practices across eastern Massachusetts recently reported that it finished 2018 with a 2.1 percent operating margin on revenues of $1.89 billion, adding to the $24.4 million operating surplus from the previous year. The group also derived about 75 percent of its revenues from full-risk contracts that year, the announcement highlighted.

Those statistics are related, emphasized the group’s chief strategy officer and senior vice president of external affairs Marci Sindell.

“2018 was a pivotal year for us,” she said in an interview with “We demonstrated for the second year in a row that we can generate meaningful margins with risk-based contracts in order to finance the things that we need to do to keep the practice going for our patients.”

Risk-based payments have helped Atrius fund innovation, from a robust analytics program and non-face-to-face encounters to a patient navigator initiative and a VNA home health care organization.

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