What is an ACO and what does it mean for your care?
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers working together with Medicare to give you high quality, more coordinated service and care.
By helping your doctors and primary care providers to communicate more closely with other health care providers, ACOs can deliver high-quality, coordinated care that meets your individual needs and preferences. An ACO may share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program when it succeeds in delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely.
An ACO isn’t the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). You’re still in Original Medicare, and your Medicare benefits, services, rights and protections won’t change. And you still have the right to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, the same way you do now.
How does the Nebraska Health Network (NHN) specifically impact my care?
The goal of the NHN is to support your Primary Care Physician (PCP) in caring for you by making sure they have the most up-to-date information about your health and your care. For you, this means your doctors communicate better with each other, and you avoid having duplicate tests or answering the same questions over and over.
Working together, your doctors can do more to follow your health and understand what works best for you. Your doctors and other healthcare providers choose to participate in the NHN because they’re committed to providing you with a better care experience. They may also be rewarded for offering you better, more coordinated care. If your doctor chooses to participate in the Nebraska Health Network, you will see a poster in their office about their participation. You can also ask for more information from your doctor about their participation in an ACO.
ACOs and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) enhance quality, improve beneficiary outcomes and increase the value of care. ACOs facilitate coordination and cooperation among providers to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and reduce unnecessary costs. The Medicare Shared Savings Program is one of the ways Medicare works to give you high quality, more coordinated care.