120k Michigan Medicare Patients Covered by ACO, Thanks to Affordable Care Act
Here in Michigan, the momentum of the Affordable Care Act is growing as thousands of doctors across the state work together to improve the quality of Medicare services by joining the new accountable care organization, POM ACO. The initiative is expected to have a great deal of positive impacts for Medicare patients, specifically regarding improvements in continuity of care.
Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, POM ACO–Physician Organization of Michigan ACO–is an accountable care organization that was created under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Under this program, POM ACO is awarded a share of the savings it achieves above a target set by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The goal is to improve quality patient care for the 120,000 Michigan residents and Medicare patients while reducing costs and saving tax dollars. It appears that the positive energy of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has everyone on board. It’s a winning situation for all stakeholders, from patients to physicians to taxpayers.
So far nearly 3,000 doctors have gotten behind the initiative, bringing the total number of providers partnering in POM ACO up to roughly 5,700. And it looks as though the organization will have a future of notoriety within the medical field, as it being spearheaded by physicians and practitioners from one of Michigan’s most highly regarded facilities: the University of Michigan Medical School’s Faculty Group Practice. Over 50% of the physicians involved in POM ACO (1,700) are University of Michigan doctors, and there are an additional 900 health care practitioners affiliated with the University of Michigan who are on board.
The University of Michigan Faculty Group Practice has a rich history of leading the initiative to improve the quality and efficiency of Medicare. U of M doctors have already logged at least 8 years of activity in the movement, having dedicated 5 of those years to a project demonstrating an ACO model of care that–even in beta–not only saved millions of dollars in Medicare costs but also improved the quality of care provided to Medicare patients.
Despite the significant lean toward University of Michigan’s central Ann Arbor location, the Affordable Care Act is not at all limited to southeast Michigan. In fact, Michigan Medicare recipients will be able to benefit from POM ACO all over the state, with access to top-notch affordable care through 12 different physician groups in 22 counties spanning the mitten.
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