More than 100 new ACOs created, highlighting importance of model for long-term care

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LeadingAge defends CLASS as critics express concerns
LeadingAge defends CLASS as critics express concerns

The creation of more than 100 new Accountable Care Organizations was announced Thursday, the latest example from the Department of Health and Human Services of promoting a coordinated care model over a fee-for-service system.

Those who believe ACOs will be a dominant model for healthcare delivery find support in the numbers. Management consultancy Oliver Wyman reported in November that ACOs were serving up to 31 million people. With the latest round of contracts, there are now more than 250 ACOs established, according to HHS.

Healthcare organizations that partner to form an ACO work together to provide high-quality care to patients while lowering costs.

Despite being initially sidelined from ACOs, many experts believe long-term care facilities will be key players in successful ACOs, as they help drive down the number of long-term hospital stays and hospital readmissions. Additionally, some LTC operators believe ACO membership will be necessary in order to maintain a healthy referral stream from hospitals and physicians.

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