9 Rural Providers in Michigan, California and Indiana Form ACO

Provider organizations in nine rural communities in Indiana, Michigan and California have bonded together as the National Rural ACO and joined the Medicare Shared Savings Program as an accountable care organization.

To qualify for the MSSP as an ACO, organizations need to have at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries attributed to them. By themselves, none of the NRACO's members could have qualified for the program. Additionally, with high ACO start-up costs, few of NRACO's members could have afforded it alone.

The NRACO was formed so rural organizations could overcome those obstacles and become an ACO, according to a news release. "Rural communities can join the NRACO at a fraction of the cost of setting up their own program, and reap the benefits for their communities and patients," Lynn Barr, the founder of the NRACO, said in a news release.

The organization partnered with Stratis Health and Inland Empire Health Information Exchange to help with data exchange and care coordination efforts.

Members of the NRACO include the following:

•    Margaret Mary Community Hospital (Batesville, Ind.)
•    Memorial Hospital (Logansport, Ind.)
•    Alcona Health Centers (Lincoln, Mich.)
•    McKenzie Health System (Sandusky, Mich.)
•    Mammoth Hospital (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.)
•    Northern Inyo Hospital (Bishop, Calif.)
•    Southern Inyo Healthcare District (Lone Pine, Calif.)
•    Ridgecrest (Calif.) Regional Hospital
•    John C. Fremont Healthcare District (Mariposa, Calif.)

More Articles on Accountable Care Organizations:
ACO Tool: Whitepaper to Assess Pilot ACO Success
Urgent Care Group to Join Wilmington Health's ACO
4 Accountable Care Models for Rural Providers

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