Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are one way that we’re working to better coordinate your care. If your doctor has decided to participate in an ACO and you have 

Original Medicare

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

How ACOs work

Local health care providers and hospitals volunteer to work together to provide you with coordinated 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 tell you which health care providers to see and can't change your Medicare 

benefits [glossary]


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.