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Improving Patient Care Quality

By banding together under an Accountable Care Organization, groups of hospitals and providers are improving the quality of patient care.

Local Accountability

Health and Human Services (HHS) anticipates that this approach will result in a reduction of unnecessary services and provider errors and will result in fewer in-patient admissions, the most costly Medicare benefit. Medicare is establishing a bureaucracy to evaluate ACO performance and has created the rules associated with what they refer to as their “Shared Savings Program”. The plan is that the ACO and Medicare will share any savings evenly, with any higher costs eventually being the responsibility of the ACO.

3 Components of ACO Infrastructure


aco infrastructure

When these components are in place, good things can happen. Participants are much more aware of the benefits of wellness and prevention today, making health and disease management programs highly effective. These factors make it possible for well-managed ACOs to reward healthy lifestyles and achieve real cost savings.

Self-Funding

More flexibility and the opportunity for savings make it critical for Accountable Care Organizations to offer self-funded group health plans.

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Population Health Management

Find the resources and tools your ACO will need to manage population health, share ACO data with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), improve population health and slow the growth of Medicare expenditures.

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Electronic Health Records

erecordsIn an ACO, at least 50% of the primary care physicians must have Electronic Health Record capabilities. The purpose is to provide for data sharing with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and comply with strict adherence to medication protocols. It also helps providers place a greater emphasis on patient screenings.