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By January, Medicare ACO program could double in size

Program could have 300 participants after third-round announcement

Topics: ACO, Market Trends, Strategy, Accountable Care

November 15, 2012

The next round of Medicare Shared-Savings ACOs could double the number of organizations in the program, according to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Director Richard Gilfillan.

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At a conference on Tuesday sponsored by the National Business Coalition on Health, Gilfillan said the agency expects to announce the third round of Shared-Savings ACO contracts in January. Currently, there are 153 ACOs in the program, and the January announcement could bring the total as high as 300.

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According to CMS, the newly selected ACOs will operate in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly half the ACOs are led by physician organizations with fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries.

The shared-savings program sets spending and quality targets, and the federal government and ACO participants share in those savings if targets are met. It is funded by the Affordable Care Act, which gave CMMI about $10 billion through fiscal year 2019 to identify strategies to reduce costs of care.

Also at the conference, Gilfillan said CMMI is trying to expand the reach of innovative care models beyond Medicare by recruiting other payers (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 11/13 [subscription required]).

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