Officials: Number of accountable care organizations more than doubles to 154

Share this article:
There currently are 154 accountable care organizations in operation, according to federal officials. They announced today that 89 brand new ACOs began service July 1.

At the start of the month, the 89 new ACOs began coordinating care for 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries in 40 states and Washington, D.C., officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.

Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, ACOs are groups of physicians and other healthcare providers that were created to incentivize healthcare providers by allowing them to share in savings resulting from better, cheaper care. They are part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

“This new group of ACOs adds to a solid foundation,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement.

In a conference call announcing the new ACOs, CMS officials said the biggest savings from ACOs will be a result of decreased utilization of inpatient services.

Long-term care providers are expected to benefit from ACOs due to their emphasis on managing care for people discharged from acute care facilities. ACOs will hire case managers who are tasked with coordinating post-acute care and reaching out to high-risk individuals after an inpatient stay.

Starting this year, CMS will be accepting applications for ACOs annually. The application period is Aug. 1 through Sept. 6, 2012, for organizations that want to participate in the Medicare shared savings program starting in January 2013.

Click here for an ACO application, and here for an ACO fact sheet.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...