ACOs cover 10% of Americans, report shows


Health payers and providers have been teaming up all over the country to form accountable care organizations, hoping to shift the marketplace to focus on quality instead of quantity. As a result, one out of every 10 Americans now receives care through an ACO, according to a report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

Between 25 million and 31 million Americans get their healthcare from an ACO, and about 45 percent of the population lives in areas served by at least one ACO, the report found.

Although ACOs have only been around for two short years, the analysis shows that both payers and providers are positioning themselves to make a stand against traditional fee-for-service medicine and reimbursements. And even though few ACOs have achieved their full potential, some have already demonstrated strong savings and improved care, Oliver Wyman concluded.

For example, Aetna's ACO agreement with Portland, Maine-based NovaHealth has resulted in significantly improved outcomes and lowered costs, including reducing inpatient hospital days by 50 percent and dropping total per member, per month costs by as much as 33 percent, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

"We believe that though there is much work left to do, ACOs in a remarkably short period of time have become a substantial part of American healthcare," the report said.

To learn more:
- here's the report (.pdf)

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