Duke forms Accountable Care Organization

Dec. 26, 2013 @ 06:19 PM

As part of a program to reduce unnecessary health care spending, Duke has formed a new Accountable Care Organization that will involve a network of providers working together to coordinate patient care.

The new organization, called Duke Connected Care LLC, was one of 123 new Accountable Care Organizations announced Monday by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Authorized through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ACOs are networks of health care providers including doctors and others. When they meet certain quality standards and lower growth in health care costs, ACOs can share in cost savings with Medicare, the federal health insurance program that covers people 65 or older as well as certain younger people with disabilities.

More than 360 ACOs have been created since the federal health care overhaul was passed, according to Sebelius’ announcement. ACOs must serve at least 5,000 Medicare patients, and must agree to participate in the program for three years.

 “This is a great example of the Affordable Care Act rewarding hospitals and doctors that work together to help our beneficiaries get the best possible care,” Sebelius said.