The first 27 Accountable Care Organizations are now participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. This first class of ACOs hail from from 18 states and serve 375,000 beneficiaries. Nearly half of the ACOs are physician-led, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).
The ACO model was created by the Affordable Care Act and is being administered through CMMI. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, that band together to coordinate patient care and lower costs through avoiding duplicative services and medical errors. While there was some initial wariness « http://www.familypracticenews.com/index.php?id=2633&cHash=071010&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=58801»about ACO requirements, physician feedback helped shape changes in the final rule. « http://www.familypracticenews.com/views/commentaries/single-article/the-aco-final-rule-game-changer-for-primary-care/01f6caec47.html?tx_ttnews[sViewPointer]=1»
Jordan Community ACO is one of the 27 that just joined the program. Dr. James Fanale, vice president of operations at Jordan Hospital, helped form the ACO through a merging of Jordan Hospital and a primary care group in Plymouth, Mass.
In a recent interview, Dr. Falane discussed the advantages and challenges the group has encountered so far.