Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are one way that we’re working to better coordinate your care. If your primary care provider participates in an ACO and you have 

Original Medicare

, you will get a written notice from your provider or there will be a poster in your provider's office about participating in an ACO. Your primary care provider may ask you to select them as your primary clinician in your secure Medicare account. Medicare may use your selection to hold your provider's ACO accountable for the quality of your care and overall medical costs.

You still have the right to visit any doctor, hospital, or other provider that accepts Medicare at any time.

How ACOs work

A group of doctors, hospitals, and/or other health care providers work together to improve the quality and experience of care you get. ACOs may help health care providers better coordinate your care. They communicate with each other and partner with you in making health care decisions.  Providers share information and may use 

Electronic Health Records (Ehrs)

, so you'll likely have fewer repeated medical tests and may save time on paperwork.

Only people with Original Medicare can be assigned to an ACO. You can’t be assigned to an ACO if you have a

Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

, like an HMO or a PPO. An ACO can't limit your choice of health care providers, and your Original Medicare benefits won't change. 

How ACOs share information

The privacy and security of your medical information is protected by federal law. You'll continue to get the same rights enjoyed by all people with Medicare.

Medicare will share certain health information with ACOs working with your doctors and other health care providers about your care. The poster in your doctor’s office (or written notice) should let you know whether the doctor or ACO has asked Medicare for access to your information about the care you get through Medicare.

You can ask Medicare not to share certain information with the ACO about the care you got from your doctors and other health care providers. To do this, call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and tell us you don’t want us to share this information. You can change your data sharing preferences at any time.

Find out who to call about Medicare options, claims and more.