JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Accountable Care Organizations in Florida have joined together to form the Florida Association of ACOs (FLAACOs). With more than a dozen ACOs in Florida up and running, FLAACOs' mission is for members to collaborate to ensure that each organization grows and thrives. The newly formed association is aligning goals to shift physician incentives and improve health-care outcomes across the state.
The Accountable Care approach to health-care delivery is varied but the overall aim is to provide financial incentives for coordinating and holistically managing care. After years of national debate and industry conferences targeting fundamental change, ACOs are gaining momentum across the nation and the state of Florida.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have paved the way for ACOs with the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). In only three months since January's third wave of MSSP- approved ACOs were announced, physician-focused and patient-centered groups from Tallahassee to Miami have begun building infrastructures with new technology and staff. This program will help Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses benefit from ACO care coordination efforts – less duplication of services and greater attention to medication and treatment plans – and hospital administrators in Florida are also eyeing the ACO goal of reduced readmission rates.
However, this is just the start. Most commercial payers and many other health-care entities are also developing ACO strategies, and FLAACOs will create a community to provide a voice for the ACO marketplace and its participating physicians.
"We are excited to create a community of ACOs in Florida where we can share ideas and best practices, as well as advocate within the state and nationally," said Nicole Bradberry, Chief Executive Officer of FLAACOs and President of Orange Health Solutions, which fully manages two ACOs in North and Central Florida and provides services to others. "Our goal, with this association, is to provide advocacy and support to all Florida ACOs so they can become the health-care models of the future."
"We are very pleased the ACOs in Florida are moving so quickly to establish an environment where solutions to the rapidly evolving health environment can be shared," said Mike Barrett, Chairman of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOs). "NAACOs looks forward to providing all the support and access via national arrangements and partnerships to FLAACO and their members. The leadership of FLAACOs should be commended for their efforts to improve the care of the individual, the health of the population and, of course, bend the cost curve."
Bradberry, along with other Florida ACO leaders, recently held a FLAACOs founders meeting to discuss board officers, board roles and the monthly agenda. These peer-to-peer exchanges will promote uniformity on quality and performance measures and foster growth of accountable care models.
To learn more about FLAACOs, visit www.flaacos.com
Founding FLAACOs members:
Orange Accountable Care, Jacksonville/Northeast Florida
American Health Alliance, Ocala area
Medical Practitioners for Affordable Care, Melbourne/Brevard County
Nature Coast ACO, Beverly Hills, FL/Citrus County
Collaborative Care of Florida, Orlando area
Physicians Collaborative Trust ACO, Maitland/Central Florida
ProCare Med, Fort Myers/Southwest Florida
Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization, Palm Beach area
South Florida Accountable Care Organization, Miami-Dade and Broward counties
Primary Partners ACIP, Clermont/Lake County
BAROMA Health Partners (OTC: BRMA), Miami
Diagnostic Clinic Walgreens Well Network, Tampa-based/Statewide
Nicole Bradberry Orange Health Solutions, 904-423-1794, email@example.com
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SOURCE Orange Health Solutions