Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today the approval of 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The 89 new ACOs have entered into agreements effective July 1 with CMS, taking responsibility for the quality of care they provide to people with Medicare in return for the opportunity to share in savings realized through high-quality, well-coordinated care. Among the 89, there are two in Massachusetts:
- Circle Health Alliance, LLC, located in Lowell, Massachusetts, is comprised of partnerships between hospitals and ACO professionals, with 353 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
- Harbor Medical Associates, PC, located in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, is comprised of ACO group practices, with 116 physicians. It will serve Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts.
The 89 ACOs announced today bring the total number of organizations participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives to 154. Of these, there are already five entities in Greater Boston designated as Pioneer ACOs by CMS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) announced last December. There are an additional two physician practice demonstrations, one south of Boston, the other on Cape Cod.
For 2012, CMS has established for all ACOs 33 quality measures relating to care coordination and patient safety, appropriate use of preventive health services, improved care for at-risk populations, and patient and caregiver experience of care.