The National Rural Accountable Care Consortium, Nevada City, Nev., has announced it has formed five additional accountable care organizations (ACOs). Using the Consortium's collaborative model, 28 rural and critical access hospitals, 42 rural health clinics, 12 federally qualified health centers and nine private physician practices in 30 rural health systems were able to afford and qualify for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the consortium
The Consortium's ACO's are: National Rural ACO; Reid ACO Suburban Health ACO; American Rural ACO; Northwest Rural ACO; and National Rural ACO II. In most of the cases, the rural hospital sponsored the program and invited local providers to join at no charge. Although annual revenue for the hospitals ranged from $5 million to $758 million per year and they all included employed or contracted physicians, only one applicant had enough beneficiaries to form its own ACO. All of the others joined forces to achieve the minimum number of beneficiaries and to reduce the cost of participation in proportion to what rural providers can expect to earn from the program.
The consortium provides services including claims data access and analysis, evidence-based medicine leadership, care coordination coaching and the governance, legal and compliance services. The consortium will sponsor a webinar on Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. eastern standard time to educate providers, and a free educational summit on Feb. 2 in Washington D.C.