Wellmark launches Iowa's first ACO

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has launched Iowa's first accountable care organization with the state's largest hospital system Iowa Health. Although participating providers will continue to receive traditional fee-for-service payments, they will be eligible to share in savings brought from delivering higher-quality care, reported the Des Moines Register. Wellmark chairman John Forsyth said the new ACO will be a "true collaboration." He added, "What makes it different is that the member experience is the focus, while providing incentives, not penalties, to deliver better care at a lower cost." Wellmark also is considering additional ACOs with other hospitals in Iowa. Article

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