ACO explosion to come in 2013

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About 500 organizations have applied to become an accountable care organization, with the third Medicare cohort to be announced in January 2013, American Medical News reported. Experts say at least 40 percent of them, more than 200, will win the ACO designation.

"After the Supreme Court decision and after the election, it's likely to increase even more," Robert Williams, national medical director at Deloitte Life Sciences-Healthcare Consulting, based in McLean, Va., previously told FierceHealthcare about ACO growth.

According to a recent Oliver Wyman report, one in 10 Americans are covered under an ACO, totaling estimates of 25 million to 31 million covered patients. The management consulting firm says 15 million non-Medicare patients are in a Medicare ACO, and 8 million to 14 million commercially insured patients are in a non-Medicare ACO, amednews noted.

And according to last week's report by Salt Lake City-based healthcare intelligence firm Leavitt Partners and Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research in their analysis of Medicare ACOs and commercial ACOs outside of the government, 65 percent of the ACOs are "mainstream," with Medicare Shared Savings or commercial payer arrangements. A fifth are "toe-dippers," which are just getting started and unsure of a long-term strategy. And 15 percent are forerunners that were functioning before ACOs even were defined.

In June, a Leavitt Partners report showed ACO growth rose 38 percent in only six months.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has closed applications for 2013 but will issue details for January 2014 applicants next spring, according to its website.

For more information:
- read the amednews article

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