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Accountable Care Organizations
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a network of doctors and hospitals that shares responsibility for providing care to patients. In the new law, an ACO would agree to manage all of the health care needs of a minimum of 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries for at least three years. The goal is coordinated care that will deliver high-quality care at lower cost - and that both the ACO and Medicare will share in the savings achieved.

The first applications for the ACO Shared Savings Program are due in January 2012, and the first ACOs are expected to launch in April. Medicare offers a few varieties of ACO programs, including:
Links
www.cms.gov/ACO

Easing the Pathway to Accountable Care Organizations
Cartwright-Smith L, Thorpe Hyatt J and Rosenbaum S
BNA Health Care Policy Report, November 21, 2011

ACOs have the promise to transform how health care is delivered by sharing financial awards among providers that realize savings in health care spending while improving quality. A review of the October 2011 regulatory policy statements related to the Medicare Shared Savings Program

Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare
and the Private Sector: A Status Update SUMMARY

Robert A. Berenson, Rachel A. Burton, November 2011

Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare
and the Private Sector: A Status Update FULL TEXT

Robert A. Berenson, Rachel A. Burton, November 2011 Berenson
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