Report: Nearly 10% of U.S. Residents Receive Care Through an ACO
Nearly 10% of U.S. residents, or about 31 million individuals, are receiving health care through an accountable care organization, according to a study released Monday by consulting firm Oliver Wyman, Forbes reports.
The ACO model of care is encouraged under the Affordable Care Act and compensates health care providers that coordinate their delivery of care with the goal of improving quality of care (Japsen, Forbes, 11/26).
The study found that roughly 2.4 million Medicare beneficiaries are receiving care through ACOs that are participating in CMS' "Medicare Shared Savings Program," while 15 million non-Medicare patients obtain care through those ACOs, Healthcare Finance News reports (Anderson, Healthcare Finance News, 11/27).
The report noted that more than 500 organizations have applied to become part of Medicare's Shared Savings Program (Forbes, 11/26).
Meanwhile, between eight million to 14 million individuals participate in ACOs operated by national or regional insurers, according to the report.
About 45% of U.S. residents live in areas serviced by at least one ACO, while 17% live in regions with two or more ACOs, according to report co-author Richard Weil. He added that the number of ACOs likely will increase in the next several years as the health care market becomes more competitive. "What we found is that when an ACO shows up in a market it changes the way other providers in the market think about their ACO strategy," he said (Healthcare Finance News, 11/27).
Weil and co-author Niyum Gandhi wrote that "ACOs in a remarkably short period of time have become a substantial part of American health care, with the potential to catalyze lasting, positive change as they begin to deliver the results they promise." However, they noted that while they "would argue that this is a remarkably quick growth for a new and complex form of payment and care delivery," they "believe that ... there is much work left to do" (Forbes, 11/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.