In the News
Accountable Care Organization: The New Picture of Health Care
Scheduled to launch in January 2012,
Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are going to be the new face
ACOs are a new model for delivering
health services that offers doctors and hospitals financial
incentives to provide quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while
keeping down costs.
ACOs are organizations that form a
network of health care providers working together to ensure quality
care, fiscal responsibility and overall health for a specific
population. In a typical ACO, hospitals align themselves with
physician groups and work together to reduce costs.
Under this new law, ACOs agree to
manage all of the health care needs of a minimum of 5,000 Medicare
beneficiaries for at least three years.
The ACO will:
• Have the flexibility to select a
model best suited for their organization,
• Improve performance resulting in
• Be proactive and data rich; and
• Reduce re-hospitalizations with
prevention and anticipation.
ACOs must also partner with sufficient
providers to meet patient needs and establish a legal structure to
share the saving bonuses among the providers.
Additional guidelines for ACOs
• Ensuring that a governance structure
and management process is in place to include administrative and
• Having a defined process to promote
evidenced-based practices; and
• Report data for quality evaluation
and cost measures, infrastructure development and demonstrate
For more information on ACOs,
please visit www.cms.gov.