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CMS doubles number of ACOs, releases new report on ACO impact

January 10, 2013
by Pamela Tabar, Associate Editor
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added 106 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) today, bringing the national total to 250 to date. Combined, the burgeoning ACO group provides care to more than 4 million Medicare beneficiaries.

To qualify for the ACO initiative, providers must meet CMS’ standards for care coordination, preventive health services, patient safety, disease management and other quality measures, CMS officials stated in a release.

Today’s announcement coincides with a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services touting the impact of ACOs and other healthcare reform initiatives in curbing the growth of spending within the Medicare program. The report, released Monday, reveals “historically low” projections of per catipa growth, as estimated by CMS Office of the Actuary. The report attributes the controlled growth rate in Medicare spending to the initiatives within the Affordable Care Act, cost-sharing for prescription drugs and greater attention to preventive services, among other reforms.

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