Five local organizations were selected in January among 106 new accountable care organizations in Medicare, according to a news release.
New ACOs serving areas within Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware include Advocare Walgreens Well Network; Atlanticare Health Solutions; Lower Shore ACO LLC; Meridian Accountable Care Organization LLC; and Summit Health-Virtua Inc.
Doctors and healthcare providers can establish accountable care organizations in order to work together to provide care to their patients. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 250 accountable care organizations have been established, according to the release. Accountable care organizations share with Medicare any savings generated from lowering the growth in healthcare costs, while meeting standards for quality of care.
ACOs must meet quality standards to ensure savings are achieved through improving care coordination and providing care that is appropriate, safe and timely. According to the release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has established 33 quality measures on care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and how patients and caregivers experience care.
The next application period for organizations that wish to participate in the Shared Savings Program beginning in January 2014 is summer 2013.