Total Number of ACOs Tops 520

New research estimates 522 total accountable care organizations are serving 15 to 17 percent of the U.S. population.

These figures are the latest from Oliver Wyman, which tracks ACO growth. The consulting firm's latest report contains several key statistics on the model's growth.

The 522 total ACOs is an increase from 370 in September 2013 and 258 in February 2013. The majority of these are CMS ACOs — Pioneer ACOs, Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs, Medicaid ACOs or participants in the Physician Group Practice Transition program. CMS' latest round of ACO approvals in January brings the total number of Medicare ACOs to 368, up from 235 in July 2013. Despite their target populations, the Medicare ACOs are still serving an estimated 33 million non-Medicare patients, according to the report.

According to the report, there are about 155 non-Medicare ACOs in operation across the country, a 14 percent increase from 135 in July 2013 and a 24 percent jump from 124 in January 2013. Non-Medicare ACOs serve between 9 million and 16 million patients. These ACOs are hard to track since there is no official database or tracking mechanism for commercial ACOs.

Of the U.S. population, 67 percent live in a primary care service area served by an ACO, according to Oliver Wyman. That figure was at 45 percent in September 2013 and 52 percent in February 2013. Also, about 40 percent of the populations lives in a PCSA served by two or more ACOs.

"We regard this last number as extremely important,"Niyum Gandhi, Oliver Wyman partner and ACO expert, said in the report. "ACOs need to be treated as a triggering mechanism for a revolution in American healthcare. Their reach is at least as important a factor to watch as their current enrollments."

Mr. Gandhi said now that two-thirds of Americans have access to an ACO and more than half have access to two or more, he has a prediction: "Once the fire is lit, it's going to spread quickly."

More Articles on ACOs:
5 Observations on ACOs
100 Accountable Care Organizations to Know
Where are the New Medicare ACOs? A Regional Breakdown


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