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What is a specialty ACO? A disease-specific ACO?

Initial development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) was focused on primary care, but interest is now shifting to how to encompass care management for certain types of chronic care patients, such as those with cancer or end-stage renal disease.  In some cases, the ACOs are contracting care management for these patients out to specialty physician groups.  Examples of these specialty ACOs would be the relationship between Banner Health and the Southwest Kidney Institute or between Florida Blue and Moffitt Cancer Center.  A challenge with specialty ACOs is amassing a large enough patient base.  Another challenge is working out the referral relationships and possible turf issues between a primary care ACO and the specialty ACO(s) in a service area.

Source: Punke, H.  Specialty ACOs: the next step in accountable care.  Becker’s Hospital Review;2013(5):26-27, May 2013.  Click here for article: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/specialty-acos-the-next-step-in-accountable-care.html  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422.2050, rc@aha.org

Other related information: Florida Blue launches oncology ACO.  HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2012.  http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/page-2/LED-280059/Florida-Blue-Launches-Oncology-ACO

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Details for: comprehensive ESRD care model.  Fact Sheets, Feb. 4, 2013.  http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/factsheet.asp?Counter=4529

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