FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What is an ACO?
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.
The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.
When an ACO succeeds both in both delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.
As a healthcare provider, must I participate in an ACO?
Participating in an ACO is purely voluntary for providers. We realize different organizations are at different stages in their ability to move toward an ACO model. We want to try to meet you where you are. Our hope is to show you models of participation that will encourage you to participate in and begin this work, no matter your organization’s stage.
What are the rights of my Medicare patients if they see providers who participate in a Medicare ACO?
Fee-for-service Medicare patients who see providers that are participating in a Medicare ACO maintain all their Medicare rights, including the right to choose any doctors and providers that accept Medicare. Whether a provider chooses to participate in an ACO or not, their patients with Medicare may continue to see them.
Where can I learn more about ACOs and Medicare Shared Savings Program?
CMS offers different learning opportunities for organizations interested in learning more about ACOs. Visit this page
periodically to learn about the latest opportunities: (https://www.cms.gov/medicare/medicare-fee-for-service-payment/sharedsavingsprogram/downloads/aco_providers_factsheet_icn907406.pdf)