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New Area Providers Join Federal Initiative

Feb 21, 2016 02:06PM ● By MED Magazine

Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital, Brown Clinic in Watertown, and the Yankton Medical Clinic are now part of a Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO), a national initiative of CMS designed to manage healthcare costs and quality. They are among 121 new participating oragnizations across the country announced in January.


Dakota Healthcare Partners, DBA AccoCare, in SIoux Falls was selected as one of 100 new Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bringing the total to 434 Shared Savings Program ACOs serving over 7.7 million beneficiaries nationwide.


Doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers establish ACOs in order to work together to provide quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow healthcare cost growth. Beneficiaries seeing healthcare providers in ACOs can choose whether to see a doctor inside or outside of the ACO. ACOs receive a portion of the Medicare savings generated from lowering the growth in healthcare costs as long as they also meet quality standards for care.

Since ACOs first began participating in the program in early 2012, thousands of health care providers have signed on to participate in the program. The new and renewing ACOs, announced in January, brought approximately 15,000 additional physicians into the ACO program. 

ACOs continue to show promising results on cost savings. In 2014, they had a combined total net program savings of $411 million for 333 Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) ACOs and 20 Pioneer ACOs.

Based on 2014 quality and financial performance results for Shared Savings Program ACOs who started the program in 2012, 2013, and 2014, ACOs that reported in both 2013 and 2014 improved on 27 of the 33 quality measures, including patients’ ratings of clinicians’ communication, beneficiaries’ rating of their doctors, screening for tobacco use and cessation, screening for high blood pressure, and Electronic Health Record use. Shared Savings Program ACOs also outperformed group practices reporting quality on 18 out of 22 measures.

More information about the Shared Savings Program is available at


For a list of the new and renewing ACOs announced today, visit the Shared Savings Program News and Updates webpage: