The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a press release announcing the formation of 123 new accountable care organizations (ACOs). Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 360 ACOs have been established as a collaborative effort among doctors, hospitals and other health care providers to slow health care cost growth and coordinate care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs are evaluated by CMS for quality performance based on 33 measures focused on patient and caregiver experience of care, care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventative services, and improved care for at-risk populations. Community health centers, rural health clinics, and critical access hospitals represent approximately 1 in 5 ACOs.
Organizations interested in establishing an ACO through the Medicare Shared Savings Program can next apply in Summer 2014 for eligibility in January 2015.
The CMS press release related to the new ACOs available at:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “More Partnerships Between Doctors and Hospitals Strengthen Coordinated Care for Medicare Beneficiaries.” Press Release. 23 Dec. 2013.