What Are Affordable Accountable Care Organizations?

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What Are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)? The concept of an Affordable accountable cCare oOrganization (ACO) is still evolving. Generally, an ACO is a group of health care providers (including primary care physicians, specialists, and medical facilities) that work in partnership and are collectively accountable for the cost and quality of health care they deliver to a specific population of patients. At the heart of each patient's care is a primary care physician. The term ACO was originally coined in a Medicare provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Characteristics that differentiate ACOs from pre-ACA health care models are shared savings, accountability for quality, and free choice of providers by patients. The three types of ACO stakeholders include the following.: 1. Providers: Physicians, hospitals, and other medical professionals and facilities 2. Payers: The public payer to an ACO is the fFederal gGovernment (Medicare). Private payers include commercial or employer-purchased insurance entities. 3. Patients: (1) Medicare beneficiaries, (2) non-Medicare patients who are receiving care within a medical practice that is part of a Medicare ACO, and (3) commercially insured patients served by non-Medicare ACOs. For ACOs to work, they must share information flawlessly. Your dDoctors use data from Medicare to help improve how they provide care. For example, your doctors will obtain your medical information from Medicare to help them to understand your
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