• An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of doctors and other healthcare providers who agree to work together with Medicare to give you the best possible care. ACOs may take different approaches to giving you coordinated care. Some ACOs may have special nurses that help you set up appointments or make sure your medications are in order when you enter or leave a hospital. Other ACOs may help your doctors get you equipment for monitoring your medical conditions better at home, if you need it. Most ACOs use advanced systems that let them more carefully coordinate your care, and make sure your doctor has the most up-to-date information about your health.

    The goal of the ACO is to support your doctor in caring for you by making sure they have the most up-to-date information about your health and your care. For you, this means your doctors communicate better with each other, and you avoid having duplicate tests or answering the same questions over and over. Working together, your doctors can do more to follow your health, make sure you get the best possible care, and may hire additional staff to help meet your unique care needs, depending on what works best for you.

    Doctors and other healthcare providers choose to participate in an ACO because they’re committed to providing you with a better care experience. They may also be financially rewarded for offering you better, more coordinated care. If your doctor chooses to participate in an ACO, you’ll see a poster with information displayed in the office or hospital.

    An ACO isn’t a Medicare Advantage Plan or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). You’re still in Original Medicare, and your Medicare benefits, services, rights and protections won’t change. And you still have the right to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, the same way you do now.

    Posted in: Frequently Asked Questions