ACOs by state (Source: Leavitt Partners)
Accountable Care Organizations are the hot new health care trend, and there’s a new study out by Leavitt Partners trying to quantify just how hot they really are.
ACOs, as defined in the 2010 health law, are a delivery model that offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide good quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while keeping costs down.
But that program hasn’t even launched yet, and already there are 164 “ACO entities” in the country, according to the Leavitt report. Leavitt Partners is a consultancy started by Michael Leavitt, a former governor of Utah and secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.
To get their count of ACOs, Leavitt Partners examined news releases, media reports, trade groups and conducted interviews and considered a health system to be an ACO if it either self-identified as one or was “adopting the tenets of accountable care.” The report included systems working with private payers rather than Medicare.
Of the 164 “ACO entities” found, 99 were sponsored by hospital systems, 38 by physician groups and 27 by insurers. They were located in 41 states, though there were vast regional differences. Poor and rural regions were found to have little ACO growth.