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Accountable Care Organizations

  • Doctors cut costs by getting to know their patients "Marketplace" by Dan Gorenstein—The healthcare landscape is changing, even as Obamacare bumps along. In the past six years, we’ve seen the rise of accountable care organizations (ACOs), now numbering more than 800, where doctors or hospitals work together to streamline care. For physicians that means they now get some compensation through contracts that reward improving health and controlling costs, as opposed to simply making money for every service provided regardless of the outcome or expense. There are now an estimated 28 million Americans enrolled in these ACOs, and that means, at least for some, their care looks radically different than even just a few years ago. That’s particularly true for some of the sicker people in the country...When ACOs hit the scene around 2010, people hoped they’d cut spending by 30 percent. Chernew said the best data show these efforts have saved more like somewhere between 2 and 10 percent, primarily because hands-on care isn’t a cure-all.

  • Vermont's all-payer ACO will begin in January Modern Healthcare by Shannon Muchmore—In January, Vermont will become the first state in the nation to move to a voluntary all-payer accountable care organization model, CMS announced Wednesday.  The Vermont program is modeled after a similar one from Maryland, but the Maryland program covers only hospitals. The Vermont ACO will cover Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers, requiring those who participate to pay similar rates for all services. CMS is giving Vermont $9.5 million in start-up funding to support the transition. The demonstration, funded through a 1115 waiver, will last five years.

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