BCBS of Illinois plans to have 16 ACOs by 2015

By next year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois plans to have 16 accountable care organizations in place, meaning one in six of its enrollees will be assigned to an ACO, according to a Crain's Chicago Business report.

BCBSIL is an ACO pioneer, as it inked one of the earliest commercial ACO contracts with Downers Grove-based Advocate Health Care in 2010. It established a second ACO in January, launched three others in July and plans to add 11 more by Jan. 1, according to the report. That means about 800,000 people, or approximately 18 percent of the 4.5 million BCBSIL customers who live in the state, will be covered by an ACO.
The insurer's plan to have 16 ACOs sets it apart, according to David Muhlestein, direct of research at Salt Lake City-based Leavitt Partners. In the report, Mr. Muhlestein said only 18 of 112 government and commercial payers have at least five ACOs.

Further, BCBSIL's trailblazing may prompt some action from competitors. "When you see kind of the gorilla in the market start to move, everybody responds," Mr. Muhlestein said in the report.
BCBSIL formed its newest ACOs with Arlington Heights-based Northwest Community Healthcare, physician network Illinois Health Partners, and Independent Physicians' ACO of Chicago, a group of more than 600 independent physicians and practices, according to the report. It launched an earlier ACO with Peoria-based OSF Healthcare, as well.

More Articles on ACOs:
Advocate, Blue Cross ACO Held Down Costs in 2012
ACO directory: 272 ACOs in America
153 Statistics on Dominant Payers in Each State


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