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The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced that 106 new accountable care organizations (ACOs) have been accepted to join the Medicare Shared Savings Program. With these latest additions, the number of approved Medicare ACOs now stands at 259.
These ACOs will provide care to about 4 million Medicare beneficiaries, or about 11% of total Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, according to a prepared statement issued by Oliver Wyman, a management consulting company.
“Accountable care organizations save money for Medicare and deliver high-quality care to people with Medicare,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more doctors and hospitals are working together to give people with Medicare the high-quality care they expect and deserve.”
The number of ACOs that are not part of the Medicare program has grown as well. Throughout the country, except in the state of Delaware, 428 different ACOs have been identified. The total number of patients in organizations with ACO arrangements with at least one payer-through Medicare or another payer-has reached between 37 and 43 million, up from 25 to 31 million since the fall, or about 14% of the population.
An analysis performed by Oliver Wyman estimates that 52% of the population now lives in primary care service areas served by ACOs, up from 45% since August. The firm also estimates that at least 28% of the population lives in communities with two or more ACOs, up from 17%, which is “a remarkable development and-for patients, ultimately-a hopeful one,” said Niyum Gandhi, associate partner at the firm.