ACO's And Reducing Healthcare Costs


Accountable care organizations (ACOs) across the nation are coming up with new ways to reduce healthcare costs. These organizations are made up of medical providers who collaborate to create higher quality care for Medicare patients in a cost-effective and efficient manner. In exchange for innovations they develop, the physicians receive a portion of the Medicare savings they achieve.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about one example of an ACO, Bellin-ThedaCare. The organization is described as being “at the forefront of an experiment that rewards physician practices and health systems when they provide care for Medicare patients at a lower cost while meeting targets for quality care.”

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Bellin-ThedaCare had the top scores for quality while providing care at the lowest overall cost in the country among the organizations participating in the Medicare demonstration project last year.” Some of the ways Bellin-ThedaCare achieved these savings was by helping patients address gaps within their care and better managing complex, high-cost patients.

Bellin-ThedaCare will be rewarded for their innovations. The organization “will receive $2.2 million of the $3.2 million in savings it generated while providing care for about 20,000 people covered by Medicare in the Fox Valley.”

ACOs incentivize physicians to create more efficient healthcare practices by compensating them for any savings they create.

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