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Florida Blue Launches Oncology ACO

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2012

Florida's major health insurer has joined forces with two South Florida healthcare providers to create a specialty accountable care organization that will focus on oncology services.

Florida Blue, Baptist Health South Florida, and Advanced Medical Specialties (AMS), a Miami-based oncology group, are partners in the collaboration.

There are an estimated 160 ACOs or ACO-like organizations at some stage of development across the country, according to a November 2011 study by Leavitt Partners, a Salt Lake City, UT–based health intelligence business. Commercial ACOs are typically focused on population health issues such as reducing hospital readmissions and reducing emergency room use.

But dedicating an ACO is a specific specialty such as oncology is relatively new, and the Florida organization is believed to be among the first in the country.

Florida Blue and AMS, which has 46 physicians in 17 locations throughout the Miami-Dade County area, have worked together on other quality protocols. The physicians admit to Baptist Health, which is part of the Florida Blue network, so the three decided to look at working together on an ACO.

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