New Insurer-Hospital ACO Touts Early Success

Illinois’ largest hospital system and biggest health insurer agreed in late 2010 to form an accountable care organization, a network in which the organizations would cooperate to boost quality and restrain cost increases, sharing in any savings. Chicago-based Advocate Health Care gambled that its portion would compensate for the lost revenue from the resulting empty beds.

Now, with six months of operating data in hand, Advocate and partner Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois claim spending reductions that are greater than those for patients outside the network. The results thus far are inconclusive but are encouraging evidence, they suggest, that ACOs can help reduce doctor and hospital visits and the use of expensive procedures.

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Source: Kaiser Health News