121 New ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations) Announced
The major experiment with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) has expanded and announced 121 new networks to better serve patients with chronic medical conditions. A limited number of those newly established ACOs will be able to directly recruit new patients.
An ACO works to provide improved quality care at lowest costs, combining doctors, hospitals and care coordinators to work as a team and have a better understanding of each patients medical history, eliminating multiple lab tests or duplicating prescription orders. ACOs received a payment, or bonus incentive, from Medicare on how well they meet the goals set forth by the program.
On January 11th, 2016, it was announced that 8.9 million beneficiaries will now be getting their care through an Accountable Care Organization, or 1 in 4 Senior Citizens with Original Medicare. This expansion will bring ACOs to 477 across the United States.
ACO’s come in a variety of designs, according to the level of financial risk the groups themselves take on. ACOs that take more responsibility for the healthcare often do better on quality, because they have a greater incentive to keep patients healthy.
Traditionally, Original Medicare paid the bills as they came in from hospitals and doctors. With President Obama’s health care law, the program is trying to shift to rewarding quality over the amount of services provided and administered. With Medicare’s long-term financials at stake, this transition could be the secret to success for lowering costs to the federal program.
With Accountable Care Organizations’ popularity on the rise, this new approach is determined to upgrade the medical care delivered to patients, by creating a dedicated team among clinicians, incentivizing and emphasizing the importance of preventive services and paying close attention to patients’ transitions between hospital and home. With many of the already established ACOs, a decline in readmissions to hospitals has been shown.
For more information on ACOs, or Medicare in general, contact a licensed sales agent by calling 866-466-9118! Our licensed sales agents are standing by to assist you with everything Medicare, including a no-obligation plan review, updates on plans available in your area and much more.