January 21, 2019

Video: Sandhya Rao, MD, Discusses Partners Medicare ACO


The Partners Population Health Perspectives blog aims to share the opinions and ideas of our leadership team on health care topics related to population health management. In this video, Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Population Health Officer for Partners HealthCare asks Sandhya Rao, MD, Senior Medical Director for Partners Population Health for her thoughts on Partners’ participation in the Medicare Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently released 2017 performance data for participating ACOs. Partners HealthCare received a quality score of 100% while beating the Medicare performance cost benchmark by 0.1%.

Dr. Rao explains why Partners chose to participate the NextGen ACO contract. When health care systems are accountable for the quality, experience, and expense of their patients, it can lead to innovative care delivery programs. At Partners, these include programs like High Risk Care Management, Home Care, Post-Acute Care, and Serious Illness Care.

“There wasn’t a program before these shared savings models that could really reflect back to physicians, how they’re delivering care across a population,” says Dr. Rao. “From my perspective, I think Partners [has] always felt really strongly and been on the forefront of thinking about new models of care that do make good on the commitment of bringing up quality and being responsible with resources.”


Sandhya Rao, MD, is an internist at Women’s Health Associates at Mass General Hospital the Senior Medical Director for Partners Population Health. In this role, she is the senior clinician providing oversight of Partners efforts to advance value-based care through alternative payment models and clinical innovation.  Prior to this, she served as the Medical Director for Quality and Population Health at the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and the Medical Director for Specialty Care in the Partners Center for Population Health.

Rao earned a bachelor’s degree in community health from Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She attended the New York University School of Medicine, and did her residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in partnership with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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