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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’ll be notified. A poster with information about your doctor’s participation in an ACO may be displayed at the office, or your doctor may give you this information in writing.

How ACOs work

  • Local health care providers and hospitals volunteer to work together to provide you with coordinated care. 
  • The doctors and other providers who are helping care for you will communicate with each other, and partner with you in making health care decisions.
  • You may spend less time filling out medical history paper work because your doctors may already have this information in an electronic health record
  • You’ll likely have fewer repeated medical tests because your doctors and hospitals will share information and coordinate your care.
  • You’ll be in the center of care, and your doctors will be better able to keep you informed, and to keep listening and honoring your choices.
  • Unlike HMOs, managed care, or some insurance plans, an ACO can't tell you which health care providers to see and can't change your Medicare benefits. 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.

How ACOs share information

  • Medicare will share certain health information with ACOs working with your doctors and other health care providers about the care you get from your doctors and other providers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

    and tell us you don’t want us to share this information.

  • You can call us at 1-800-MEDICARE

    to change your data sharing preferences at any time.
Note

If you have questions or you aren't sure if your doctor is in a Medicare ACO, ask them.