Why do we need to know about Accountable Care Organizations?
They’re rapidly growing:
2012 saw rapid ACO development, and growth is expected to accelerate in 2013.
As of November 1, 2012, there are 328 ACOs. This is a significant increase from the 221 ACOs counted at the end of May 2012, and the 164 ACOs counted at the end of September 2011. Somewhere between 25 and 31 million patients are affected by ACOs, and 2.4 million Medicare patients receive care through ACOs. (Stats from American Medical News.)
Additionally, there is expected to be increasing demand for physician practices to lead or participate in ACOs. With the health care trend moving toward ACOs, and with an increasing push for health care providers to participate in them, it’s important we understand them as they relate to EPOCH.
They’re part of health care reform:
In 2009, ACOs were included in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Congress included ACOs in the Affordable Care Act as a way to save Medicare money.