The National Association of ACOs Emerges

By Gregg A. Masters, MPH

We’re only 8 days out from the HiMSS bash in the ‘big easy’ aka ‘NOLA’. We’ve been so engaged in planning the Health Innovation Broadcast Consortium aka @HIBCtv it’s been a challenge to stay on top and share the more worthwhile developments in the ACO space.

naacosPerhaps of most immediate interest is the somewhat predictable announcement of the formation of the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations aka ‘NAACO’S’.  I quote in part from the February 8th, 2013 PR below:

Over 60 Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) from more than 15 States have come together to form the National Association of ACOs. NAACOS is a 501 (c) 6 non-profit organization that allows ACOs to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs and improve the health of their communities. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has recognized 258 organizations as ACOs, and private insurance plans are working with numerous other ACOs in cities across the US.

“It is phenomenal that this many ACOs could come together in a matter of 8 weeks to form such an important organization,” said Clif Gaus, NAACOS President.

“While rapid, this is a natural evolution of what was an informal network of ACO executives recognizing the need for the ACO industry to have its voice clearly and consistently at the table as regulations and program rules are developed by CMS and the States. Equally important is providing a forum for a peer to peer exchange of effective and efficient solutions to the myriad of operational challenges,” explains Mike Barrett, the Chair of the NAACOS. 

Membership is expected to exceed 100 ACOs by April, representing over 2.0 million Medicare assigned beneficiaries.

The announcement continues to define the NAACOS mission as:

  • Fostering growth of accountable care models of care;
  • Promoting industry-wide uniformity on quality and performance measures;
  • Providing Peer-to-Peer learning experiences
  • Highlighting clinical and operational best practices;
  • Constructively engaging the vendor community, and
  • Educating the public about the value of accountable care.

Further NAACOs is sponsoring its first national conference and membership
meeting in Baltimore, MD. Attendees will hear from key CMS leadership on the ACO programs and Medicare’s Quality Reporting and Improvement Programs and have the opportunity to learn from one and other in peer-to-peer exchanges and breakout sessions. 

NAACOS is governed by an Interim Board of Directors until the permanent Board
will be elected in June. The Interim Board includes:

Interim Board of Directors and General Counsel

Mike Barrett, NAACOS Chairman
Heritage California ACO
Northridge, CA

Ted Carpenter

For more information on the National Association of Accountable Care Organizations, click here.


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