HHS announces 106 new ACOs
Posted on January 10, 2013 | No Comments
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that health care providers have formed 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, covering as many as 4 million Medicare beneficiaries. The new ACOs include a practices from 47 states in total, including the Billings Clinic in Montana; Cedars-Sinai Accountable Care in Louisiana; the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin; Geisinger Health System in New York and Pennsylvania; and UCLA Health System. About half of all ACOs now are physician-led groups serving fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries, and 20 percent serve rural or low-income areas. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 Accountable Care Organizations have been established. ACOs share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs, while meeting standards for quality of care. ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care. Federal savings from this initiative are estimated to be up to $940 million over four years.