Reach of ACOs hits 31 million individuals

Accountable care organizations are already beginning to change the landscape of American healthcare, veteran observers say.

ACOs currently reached as many as 31 million Americans, according to a report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman. In “The ACO Surprise,” the group suggests that a combination of privately and government run ACOs have built a broader base than many may have thought.

“In a competitive market, when an ACO shows up, other competitors feel like they need to become ACOs as well,” said report co-author Richard Weil.

Long-term care providers have been keen to pair up with quality acute-care partners. The latter are seen as the gate-keepers to the funds.

Currently, 153 ACOs contract with Medicare. That number might double in January, said Richard Gilfillan, the head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.

When certain quality marks are reached by an ACO, involved providers will share any savings achieved. 

About $10 billion is available to the Innovation Center through fiscal 2019 due to funding under healthcare reform.