Accountable Care

Accountable Care Organizations

What is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?

An ACO is a provider-based organization that takes responsibility for meeting the health care needs of a defined population with the goal of simultaneously improving health, improving patient experiences and reducing costs. An ACO must have a strong primary care foundation and also may integrate other specialists, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. to promote a high degree of care coordination. The following arrangements of providers and services are eligible to participate as ACOs: ACO professionals in group practices, networks of individual practices of ACO professionals, partnerships or joint ventures between hospitals and ACO professionals, and hospitals employing ACO professionals.

More questions about accountable care? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions about Accountable Care Organizations.

Accountable Care Organizations in North Carolina

North Carolina has 30 MSSP and NextGen ACOs and at least 11 ACOs have contracts with commercial payers (about 5 overlap with MSSP*). Download these helpful maps to locate ACOs that provide service in North Carolina:

How can you learn more about ACOs?

The North Carolina Medical Society was pleased to help form the Toward Accountable Care Consortium (TAC), a collaboration of more than 35 state and national specialty and county medical societies, that formed to create educational resources for health care providers interested in forming their own ACOs. Through grants provided by the Physicians Foundation, TAC developed more than 30 toolkits with both general and specialty-specific guidelines to assist in the formation of these value-driven models of care. Learn more about these toolkits and download your relevant guides for free.

In addition, TAC helped to form the NC Population Health Collaborative, comprised of representatives of existing NC ACOs and aspiring ACOs participants and partners. The Collaborative provides an opportunity for emerging and developing ACOs to share experiences and ideas about transitioning to accountable, value-driven, health care delivery systems, and to identify and discuss possible solutions for facilitating that transition. The NC Pop Health Collaborative meets twice a year, and you are welcome to attend any of these informative sessions. Join their email list to be notified of upcoming meetings.

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