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  • HHS Announces 106 New ACOs

    Physicians and health care providers have formed 106 new accountable care organizations (ACOs), bringing the nationwide number of Medicare beneficiaries included in ACOs to about 4 million.

    According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the new ACOs include a diverse cross-section of physician practices across the country. Roughly half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries. Approximately 20% of ACOs include community health centers, rural health centers, and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities.

    The new group includes 15 advance payment model ACOs, physician-based or rural providers who would benefit from greater access to capital to invest in staff, electronic health record systems, or other infrastructure required to improve care coordination. Medicare will recoup advance payments over time through future shared savings. In addition to these ACOs, last year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Pioneer ACO Program for large provider groups able to take greater financial responsibility for the costs and care of their patients over time.

    ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure that savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe, and timely. CMS has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care. Federal savings from this initiative are up to $940 million over 4 years.

    For more information on ACOs, visit www.apta.org/ACO/.

    Join your colleagues on March 8 for APTA's groundbreaking virtual event, Innovation Summit: Collaborative Care Models, which will focus on the current and future role of physical therapy in ACOs and other integrated models of care.


    • More specific information on how ACO will go about contracting with behavioral health care organizations in providing integrated health care for high-risk populations would be most welcome. Also, what kind of education will medical professionals need to better understand the revolution that the recovery model has created in behavioral health care. Finally, getting medical professionsals and peer support specialists to work as a team in a total health/wellness/recovery vision.

      Posted by Robert Rousseau on 1/30/2013 5:53 AM

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