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$1.75 million needed to get your ACO up and running

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have estimated that 75 to 100 organizations will apply to be part of the accountable care organization (ACO) pilot project, covering between 1.5 million to 4 million Medicare beneficiaries, and generating savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  However, CMS estimates that each ACO’s start-up cost will total $1.75 million.  This article provides an overview of the requirements of the ACO proposed rule that was published in the April 7, 2011 Federal Register, describes the two types of ACOs that will be created under the pilot program, and suggests implications of choosing to participate as an ACO. 

What I like about this article:  First, the author is with Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) — so this analysis is coming from a reputable source.  Second, it has a nice little chart that compares the different mindsets of organizations that have an “acute care focus” and those that have a “population health management focus.”  Finally, ACOs are still the hot topic and it’s good to keep up with the current thinking and analysis.

Source: Mulvany, C.  Medicare ACOs no longer mythical creatures.  Healthcare Financial Management;65(6):96-104, June 2011.  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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