Health officials announce new 'Accountable Care' groups

"Better coordinated care is good for patients and it saves money," HHS Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusIs a presidential appointment worth the risk? New Dem Kansas gov reinstates protections for LGBT state employees Next Kansas governor to reinstate LGBT protections for state workers MORE said in a statement.

"We applaud every one of these doctors, hospitals, health centers and others for working together to ensure millions of people with Medicare get better, more patient-centered, coordinated care."

A total of 154 organizations participate in shared savings initiatives under Medicare, according to materials from HHS.

These groups serve 2.4 million of the program's beneficiaries, HHS stated.
 

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The rise in ACOs represents a shift in the way medical providers are paid under Medicare. Rather than receiving reimbursements per procedure, providers in an ACO team receive a lump sum to deliver care for a group of patients.

The model is seen as a way to encourage more patient-centered care at lower costs.