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First ACOs in Ohio Selected

Four health systems in Ohio have been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The four health systems—the first in Ohio to receive ACO designation—are part of 89 other providers around the country recently selected as ACOs.

The Shared Savings Program, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), aims to lower the rate of growth in health care costs for Medicare patients while maintaining an excellent level of patient care. ACOs adhere to 33 measures of quality, including benchmarks related to patient safety, utilization of preventive services, improved care for at-risk populations and quality of patient experience. And if an ACO meets these benchmarks while also reducing Medicare costs through increased efficiency, those savings will be shared with the health systems.

The four Ohio health systems designated as ACOs are:

The 89 recently-selected ACOs will join 154 other health systems around the country chosen to participate in the program.

Starting this year, applications for ACO status will be accepted annually. In order to participate in the MSSP beginning in 2013, health systems should apply between August 1 and September 6, 2012. More information on the program and the application process can be found at CMS’s Shared Savings Program page.

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