Learn About the Affordable Care Act

Accountable Care Organizations

An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a team of doctors, hospitals, labs and other health care providers. It offers most or all of the care for people enrolled in the ACO. A more detailed definition of an ACO is still being written by the Department of Health and Human Services.

For people with Medicare, being a part of an ACO will not change your guaranteed Medicare benefits and will provide and coordinate all of your health care services.

ACOs will:

  • Know your health history
  • Know the results of tests you have taken
  • Work to give you affordable, quality care

ACOs are not insurance companies. They are one way the Affordable Care Act will work to improve quality and lower costs. Two programs using ACOs that will improve your care are:

  • Medicare Shared Savings
  • Pediatric ACO Demonstration Project

Medicare Shared Savings began in 2012. If the ACO meets Medicare’s goals to improve the health of its patients and reduce costs, it will receive a portion of the savings as a bonus.

The Pediatric Demonstration Project starts this year. It improves your children’s care through approved pediatric ACOs. These ACOs also would receive bonuses for meeting quality and cost saving goals.

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