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89 ACOs Open for Business

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 10, 2012

Only five of the 89 new ACOs chose the so-called two-sided risk model that has greater earning potential but also puts providers on the hook if savings metrics fall short. Blum says "by far" most organizations chose the safer one-sided risk model, which pays only on achieved savings. All ACOs in their second contract period will have to take two-sided risk.

The 89 new ACOs were selected from an applicant pool of more than 150 providers. Beginning this year, ACO applications will be accepted annually. The application period for the Medicare Shared Savings Program that begins in January 2013 runs from Aug. 1 through Sept. 6.

Simeon A. Schwartz, MD, president/CEO of White Plains, NY-based WESTMED Medical Group, says the shared-savings program had the financial incentives to compel his 200-physician primary care-focused multispecialty practice to become an ACO.

"We think the savings are largely going to come out of hospital utilization because we see already in our organization that there have been many opportunities to move care to the outpatient setting," says Schwartz, who joined Blum on the midday teleconference.

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2 comments on "89 ACOs Open for Business"


Al Neuman MD (7/13/2012 at 5:58 PM)
Anyone who has read the "HealthLeaders" site realizes by now that for whatever reason, they seem totally in the tank for Obama and his policies. Truth of the matter is what HealthLeaders ISN'T saying in this piece[INVALID]that the vast majority of hospitals and physician groups AREN'T taking the dubious bait of Obamacare. Just look @ the numbers[INVALID]only 150 from the whole country applied, out of many thousands of potential applicants! It's obvious as anyone seriously involved in healthcare already knows, that the professional community doesn't like this ridiculous elephant of a healthcare "law" with all its burdensome bureaucracy and huge administrative costs and certainly doesn't trust the Obama administration at all based on their duplicity and dishonesty about other health-related topics incl. Medicare physician reimbursements. Reality is that most responsible folks in healthcare are rooting for Congress to actually repeal this turkey[INVALID]nobody believes it's either workable or affordable and will be a sure job killer.d

J. Kuriyan (7/10/2012 at 9:31 AM)
While it is wonderful that providers are stepping up to the plate and becoming "accountable" my fear is that they are buying a "pig in a poke" when they envision "shared savings". I am absolutely amazed thatmany responsible provider organizations are entering into a contract where the "baseline" for calculating savings has not been defined by CMS. What if the CMS actuaries come up with an unrealistic standard for measuring savings? Isn't it prudent practice to know what these parameters are before providers enter into contracts that entail penalty clauses for non-preformance? Wonders never cease!