Health systems get go-ahead to form accountable care organizations
Officials announced last week that that 27 health systems have been selected to participate in Medicare’s Shared Savings Program, which supports the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs). Created by health care reform, the program offers financial incentives for physicians, hospitals and other health care providers, including HME providers, to cooperatively improve care for Medicare beneficiaries and slow rising costs. ACO members share savings if they are able to hold down costs while effectively managing chronic disease with fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Thirty-two health systems were previously approved for the program, and 150 more have applications pending.