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NCQA Issues First ACO Accreditations

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 19, 2013

During last week's teleconference, representatives of the six organizations got a chance to talk about why they opted to undergo the rigors of accreditation, at a cost of up to $32,800, plus resources. And why they think other provider collaborations should, too.

The six accredited ACOs, all of whom agreed to undergo the process early last year, are:

  • Billings Clinic, Billings, MT. This ACO has 320 physician and non-physician providers, a 272-bed hospital, and a 90-bed rehabilitation and assisted living facility.
  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network. This ACO includes a 516-bed pediatric hospital and numerous providers.
  • Crystal Run Healthcare, Middletown, NY, serving the lower Catskills and the mid-Hudson Valley. This ACO has more than 300 providers in more than 40 medical specialties, and is a certified Level 3 patient-centered medical home.
  • Essentia Health, Duluth, MN. This ACO has 12,800 employees and physicians, 18 hospitals, 68 clinics, eight long-term care facilities and two-assisted living facilities. It serves populations in four states.
  • HealthPartners, St. Paul, MN. This ACO serves more than 1.4 million medical and dental health plan members and includes a multispecialty group practice with 1,700 physicians, five hospitals, 50 primary care clinics, 21 urgent care locations, 21 dental clinics and numerous specialty practices in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
  • Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Houston, TX. This ACO has more than 370 physicians covering more than 55 medical specialties at 21 clinic locations and cares for 500,000 patients a year, 40% of whom are covered through capitated plans including KelseyCare for employers with 50 or more employees.

NCQA measures the quality of each ACO on the basis of 65 elements, much the same as it measures quality for accreditation it gives to patient centered medical homes, employer wellness programs, and health insurance plans.

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