On January 10, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced that it selected 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (“ACO’s”) to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum blogged about the aim of ACO’s and described them as having the potential to improve the US health system:  

“In other words, great health care requires a team that will work together at every stage of your care, which can lead to better health at lower cost.  That’s the aim of the ACOs.  Affordable Care Act reforms such as ACOs have helped to set Medicare on a more sustainable path today and into the future, as well as serve as a model for what improvements are possible for our nation’s health care system.”

Northwest organizations were included on the complete list of 106 new ACO’s, including the Billings Clinic in Montana, Franciscan Northwest Physicians Health Network, LLC in Washington, and St. Luke’s Clinic Coordinated Care, Ltd. serving Idaho and Oregon. 

CMS plans to issue dates for the January 2014 application cycle sometime during the spring, 2013.  For more information about ACO’s and ACO development, please contact Adam Snyder at (206) 442-1317.