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About Half of Traditional Medicare Beneficiaries Are in ACOs, Says CMS

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CMS said in a news release today that 13.7 million beneficiaries are in accountable care organizations (ACOs) and that a total of 480 ACOs are participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) now include 13.7 million beneficiaries, or nearly half of the people in traditional Medicare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said today as part of announcement about ACO growth and enrollment.

Sixty-nine new ACOs are now participating in the Medicare Shared Saving Program (MSSP), CMS’ largest ACO program, according to the CMS news release. Nineteen of those newcomers are in a new payment option that includes advance investment payments for caring for beneficiaries in underserved populations

Counting the 71 ACOs that renewed their participation in the program, there are now 480 ACOs in MSSP, according to CMS.

The agency said that an additional 245 organizations are continuing to participate in two other valued-based programs, the ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (ACO REACH) and the Kidney Care Choices (KCC) models.

The 19 ACOs receiving investment payments are required to invest in healthcare infrastructure and staffing that is supposed to improve healthcare for underserved beneficiaries. Hiring community health workers and utilizing health assessment and screening tools are among the steps they are taking to accomplish that goal, according to the news release.

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