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ACO Surprise – Growing Number of Patients Getting Care from an ACO

The consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimated late last year that as many as 31 million Americans  — roughly 10% of the population — were already receiving health care through an accountable care organization. This includes 2.4 million in Medicare ACOs, another 15 million non-Medicare patients in a Medicare ACO, and 8 to 14 million more in non-Medicare ACOs. Forty-five percent of the US population were living within a primary care service area served by at least one ACO.

These estimates were made before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the formation of another 106 Medicare ACOs in January, adding another 4 million Medicare beneficiaries.

The report discusses the significance of  the surprisingly fast growth the study found, concluding that “Successful ACOs won’t just siphon patients away from traditional providers. They will change the rules of the game.”

Feb. 18, 2013 UPDATE: Becker’s Hospital Review reports updated figures from Oliver Wyman, indicating ACOs now cover as many as 43 million Americans , and 52% of the U.S. population now lives in a primary care service area covered by at least one ACO.


Gandhi N & Weil R. The ACO surprise. Oliver Wyman, Nov. 26, 2012.  http://www.oliverwyman.com/media/OW_ENG_HLS_PUBL_The_ACO_Surprise.pdf

Press release: More doctors, hospitals partner to coordinate care for people with Medicare. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Jan. 10, 2013. http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/release.asp?Counter=4501&intNumPerPage=10&checkDate=&checkKey=&srchType=1&numDays=3500&srchOpt=0&srchData=&keywordType=All&chkNewsType=1%2C+2%2C+3%2C+4%2C+5&intPage=&showAll=&pYear=&year=&desc=&cboOrder=date

Punke H. Half of U.S. lives in ACO area. Becker’s Hospital Review, Feb. 18, 2013. http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/acos-reach-half-of-us-population.html

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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