Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have been a hot topic in the industry since the first ACO appeared on the scene in 2010, expanding from their roots in Medicare to the commercial space, and now frequently serving as a vehicle to align employers, health plans, and providers. According to an Oliver Wyman survey, ACOs in 2015 served between 15 to 17 percent of the United States, with 585 ACOs in existence at that time, including 426 Medicare ACOs. Our 2017 research saw an increase in ACOs two years later, with the creation of over 650 total formal ACOs and hundreds more tested pilots under development.
Those ACOs supported by commercial, for-profit operators – created because of new opportunities stemming from the Affordable Care Act – generally lack hospital involvement and are led by physician practices. According to Oliver Wyman’s 2017 research, nearly half of ACOs were reportedly led by hospitals or multi-hospital systems, with the majority of ACOs participating in both Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSPs) and commercial ACO arrangements.