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Centegra Health System announced plans to extend its relationship with MedAssets, Inc. to build an accountable care organization (ACO) delivery model and benefit from the latter’s comprehensive portfolio of revenue performance solutions.

Per the new agreement, Centegra will employ multiple MedAssets solutions beyond the use of its supply chain solutions. The company will now use MedAssets’ Revenue Cycle Performance, Recovery and Collections, Patient Access, Claims & Billing and Contract & Episode Management solutions.

Drawing on these solutions, Centegra expects to optimize revenues and efficiency, overcome increased margin pressures, assume greater risk and manage complex coding and payor contracting.

With the ongoing market and regulatory changes impacting hospital reimbursement, healthcare providers are shifting their focus to build ACO delivery models. Significant changes in payment structure are forcing providers to make use of third-party resources with expertise in core business operations to remain cash positive.

MedAssets’ technology and specialized consulting services will be utilized by Centegra to improve revenue cycle operations, gain greater efficiency in the financial clearing process and prepare for reimbursement changes.

To cash in on the current demand, Centegra will engage MedAssets’ technology to optimize financial and operational performance under current reimbursement models, while preparing for the transition to ACO and other value-based models.

Last month, MedAssets introduced Contract Analytics – the first module of Revenue Cycle Analytics, which is a robust analytical discovery product suite designed to improve revenue cycle efficiency and visibility into reimbursement performance. Sentara Healthcare, a non-profit health system based in Virginia, was among the first health systems to adopt MedAssets’ Contract Analytics tool.

MedAssets continues to build upon its wide array of proprietary data and analytics tools by offering innovative solutions to healthcare providers that are aiming for enhanced quality care, operational efficiency and improved financial performance.

Currently, MedAssets carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the medical services industry include PAREXEL International Corp. , Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc. and Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. .

Both PAREXEL International and Quintiles Transnational Holdings sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Charles River Laboratories International carries a Zack Rank #2 (Buy).

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