ACO roundup: Why a major ACO backer is backing off

Accountable care news from April 24 to May 14

The Daily Briefing editorial team rounds up accountable care news from the last week.

Why a major ACO backer is backing off. Universal American—an insurance company that strove to become the largest operator of Medicare ACOs in the country—will no longer fund existing ACOs where there appears to be little hope of financial return, Modern Healthcare reports. "Where we're seeing it's not working, we're going to stop investing," says CFO Robert Waegelein. The company contracts with 34 ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, or about 10% of the ACOs in the program.

A new model for coordinated care. The University of Chicago is testing a model that relies on "comprehensive-care physicians" to coordinate patient care, Modern Healthcare reports. A physician is assigned to every patient deemed to be at high risk of hospitalization, and he or she follows that patient through care provide in any setting inside and outside the hospital.

ACOs tackle security challenges. Founded on the premise that exchanging data among providers will improve patient care, it's no surprise that accountable care organizations face increased data security risks. Writing in iHealthBeat, John Moore explains how ACOs continue to refine their security approaches to mitigate.

Limited data shows quality of care at Medicare ACOs is all over the map. CMS has yet to release comprehensive data on the care quality provided by more than 300 Medicare ACOs, but the limited available data suggest that performance improvements may not be universal, Modern Healthcare's Melanie Evans writes.

Also from the Advisory Board:

How Does an ACO Work? Join us for an overview of one of health care's biggest buzzwords: the ACO. This 15-minute presentation explains what an ACO is—and is not. The emphasis is on addressing common physician questions.

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Daily roundup: May 15, 2014

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