Posted by: RedaChouffani
The number of new accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) continues to rise. Recently Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that over 89 new organizations as of July 1st, of 2012. This most recent announcement brings the total ACOs who have entered into agreements with CMS to 154. These are the organizations that took the responsibility to providing high quality care and coordinating it for patients. With over 40 different states and Washington DC, the participation is gaining momentum across almost all states.
“Better coordinated care is good for patients and it saves money,” said Secretary Sebelius. “We applaud every one of these doctors, hospitals, health centers and others for working together to ensure millions of people with Medicare get better, more patient-centered, coordinated care.”
While all future applications for the shared savings program will be accepted yearly, this will sure provide ample time for many more organizations to review and evaluate their options in order to decide whether or not creating or joining an existing ACO would be part of their strategic road map. There have been many multispecialty groups and hospital lead efforts to ease and encourage the adoption through. For some entities, hospitals facilitated the task by offsetting some of the technology costs or leveraging existing infrastructures while others had already been working within the same health system and collaboration on care was already occurring within the facilities.
As ACOs continue to attract more physicians, and as more adopt this model they will new sets of challenges. However, as we continue to face the different changes in healthcare, one focus of ACOs will continue to be the delivery of higher quality care, and reducing healthcare costs.