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Nine new California Medicare ACOs approved by CMS

January 18, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management 

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the selection of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to participate in the Medicare Shared Saving Program. This includes nine new ACOs with California service areas. The new California ACOs brings the state's total to 24.


ACOs are organizations formed by groups of physicians and other health care providers who have agreed to work together to coordinate care for Medicare patients. The Medicare Shared Savings Program, and other initiatives related to ACOs, was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.


The 106 ACOs announced last week bring the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 250.


According to CMS, the new ACOs include a diverse cross-section of physician practices across the country. Roughly half of all ACOs are physician-led organizations that serve fewer than 10,000 beneficiaries. Approximately 20 percent of ACOs include community health centers, rural health clinics and critical access hospitals that serve low-income and rural communities.


The nine newest California ACOs include Accountable Care Clinical Services PC, San Diego Independent ACO, Affiliated Physicians IPA, Akira Health, Inc., APCN-ACO, Cedars-Sinai Accountable Care, Meritage ACO LLC, National ACO and the UCLA Faculty Practice Group.


Fifteen of the new ACOs qualified to be "Advance Payment ACOs," a model designed especially for solo and small group physician practices or hospitals and doctors that work in remote rural areas—entities who would benefit from greater access to up front capital to invest in staff, electronic health record systems or other infrastructure required to improve care coordination. Medicare will recoup advance payments over time through future shared savings. Golden Life, located in Sacramento, is the only California ACO participating in the Advanced Payment Model.


For a list of the 106 new ACOs announced today, click here.


The next application period for organizations that wish to participate in the Shared Savings Program beginning will be this summer. More information about the Shared Savings Program is available here.

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