The University of Chicago Medicine Care Network’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) was selected by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to join its Shared Savings Program for the 2017 performance year.
The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCM) was one of 99 ACOs selected to join the Shared Savings Program, which aims to facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to offer Medicare recipients with access to high-quality care and reduce unnecessary costs. ACOs are health care organizations that participate in alternative payment methods, tying the cost of care to the quality of medical service delivery.
The Medicare Shared Savings Program was established in 2012 by Congress in Section 3022 of the Affordable Care Act to systematically initiate Medicare delivery system reforms, and improve the delivery of health care services.
Doctors, health care providers, hospitals, and suppliers must create or participate in an ACO in order to join the Shared Savings Program. ACOs are eligible to receive a portion of Medicare funds if they “meet standards for high quality care,” according to the UCMC press release.
ACOs first began participating in the newly launched Shared Savings Program in 2012, and since then thousands of health care providers enrolled to participate in the program to provide better service delivery to Medicare recipients.
According to a UCM press release, as of January 1, 2017, a total of 480 ACOs are participants of the Shared Savings Program, serving over 9 million assigned beneficiaries.