ACOs continue to grow in 2017

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As of the end of March, accountable care organizations now cover 32 million Americans, meaning 10 percent of the population is now covered by the alternative payment model, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

Since the first quarter of 2016, 138 new ACOs have begun operation, representing an 11 percent growth in the number of ACOs operating nationwide. In certain states, such as Rhode Island and Maine, over 30 percent of state residents are covered by an ACO, while largely rural states such, as Wyoming and West Virginia, have less than 2 percent of their residents participating.

Commercial insurance contracts account for the majority of all ACO contracts at 59 percent, but Medicare contracts still make up 29 percent of ACO contracts.

The study authors believe that, though there is great uncertainty surrounding the future of healthcare, there have been no proposed changes to the ways in which Medicare or Medicaid deliver their payments, which bodes well for the continued growth of ACOs.

More articles on accountable care:

Viewpoint: Shared savings do not measure ACO impact
Aledade strikes first MA accountable care contract
Massachusetts selects 18 ACOs to redesign state Medicaid program

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