WASHINGTON—Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today, that as of July 1, 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) began serving 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states, including Washington, D.C.
ACOs are organizations formed by groups of doctors and other health care providers that have agreed to work together to coordinate care for people with Medicare.
These 89 new ACOs have entered into agreements with CMS, taking responsibility for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare, in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through high-quality, well-coordinated care.
“Better coordinated care is good for patients and it saves money,” said Sebelius. “We applaud every one of these doctors, hospitals, health centers and others for working together to ensure millions of people with Medicare get better, more patient-centered, coordinated care.”
Participation in an ACO is purely voluntary for providers. The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), and other initiatives related to ACOs, is made possible by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Federal savings from this initiative could be up to $940 million over four years.
“This new group of ACOs adds to a solid foundation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “The Medicare ACO program opened for business in January and, already, more than 2.4 million beneficiaries are receiving care from providers participating in these important initiatives.”