Atlantic Health, a two-hospital system in Morristown, N.J., announced it has launched an accountable care organization that is expected to enroll patients in January 2012.
Atlantic Health launching ACO
David Shulkin, the system's vice president and president of Morristown Memorial Hospital, said Atlantic Health will operate its accountable care network through a newly formed corporation. Roughly 100 independent physicians and about 200 doctors employed by the system will participate in the ACO, he said. Shulkin said representation on the newly created company's governing board will mirror that of Atlantic Health, and the ACO also will operate as many as seven regional governing boards with physicians accounting for the majority of members.
A wave of hospitals, physician groups and commercial insurers have recently unveiled plans to develop such organizations, which are loosely defined as provider networks responsible to manage the care and medical costs for a specific group of patients. ACOs that achieve quality and cost-control targets are eligible for bonuses based on savings. Medicare may contract with accountable care groups beginning in 2012 under the health reform law.
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