What Is An ACO?
The sole purpose of a Medicare ACO is to improve the healthcare that you receive. An ACO is an initiative of the Affordable Care Act designed to provide you, Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries, with more effective, coordinated, and efficient care. There are open lines of communication between each doctor and between the doctors and you to make sure that you get the care you need when you are sick, and the support you need to stay healthy.
An ACO is not an insurance company, an HMO, or managed care. Unlike HMOs, managed care or some insurance plans, an ACO cannot tell you which health care providers to see and cannot change your Medicare benefits. If your doctor participates in a Medicare ACO, you always have the right to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time.
The ACO financially rewards physicians for striving to achieve positive health outcomes and for reducing medical costs. It represents a shift from our current system that incentivizes treating illness to a stronger system that pays doctors and hospitals to keep you healthy.