Growth and Dispersion of Accountable Care Organizations

Following the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and the announcement of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, an increased interest has emerged among providers and payers to create ACOs. To date, little has been published regarding the types and locations of organizations adopting principles of accountable care.
As part of an ongoing national study, Leavitt Partners identified ACOs from news releases, media reports, trade groups, collaborations and interviews through the beginning of September 2011. Also included were entities that either self-identified as being an ACOs or specifically adopted the tenets of accountable care including financial accountability for the health care needs of a population, managing the care of that population and bearing that responsibility at an organizational level. Leavitt Partners then mapped the market of each of these entities based on the States and Hospital Referral Regions (HRR) associated with the hospitals that each entity utilizes.

Of the 164 identified ACOs, the sponsoring entities included hospital systems, physician groups and insurers with a market presence in 41 states but less than half of all HRRs. Of these entities, 99 were primarily sponsored by hospital systems, 38 by physician groups and 27 by insurers.