Maps of 2012 Medicare accountable care organizations

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By Karen Cheung-Larivee

It's quite possibly the biggest change to Medicare in decades--the accountable care organization (ACO).

Although a sore spot for reluctant providers who don't want to relive the 90s, the ACO turns the fee-for-service system on its head and rewards value-based care, or at least, that's what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is hoping for. Sometimes thought of as a mythical unicorn, the ACO looks to offer hospitals and other providers Medicare reimbursements based on quality care and not volume.

Under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, health reform encouraged accountable care initiatives to start in 2012 and aim for three things: the right care at the right place at the right time.

Targeting both quality care and cost savings isn't a small feat. Yet, more than 150 collaborative groups this year launched their ACOs through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

"It's on the upswing," Robert Williams, national medical director at Deloitte Life Sciences-Healthcare Consulting, based in McLean, Va., told FierceHealthcare in an interview.

"After the Supreme Court decision and after the election, it's likely to increase even more," Williams said about the ACO movement. "Some people were holding off on some decision-making. Even if they weren't moving forward to apply, they were thinking about what 'onramps' they might be taking for accountable care."

Williams noted health systems indeed recognize the country is moving toward value-based reimbursement and therefore are investing and engaging in CMS ACOs.


For the full-size image, click here.

Click through to see the full lists and maps of Medicare ACOs that launched this year.