Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
Information for Medicare patients about your doctor's participation in the Pioneer ACO
Pioneer ACO Overview
Many Partners HealthCare-affiliated primary care physicians are participating in a new care coordination program called the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO), designed specifically for Medicare patients. Your primary care physician may be one of the physicians participating in this program. If he or she is, and you are a Medicare patient, you should have received a letter in the mail notifying you of this change. Our primary care physicians participating in the Pioneer ACO are affiliated with Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, Emerson Hospital, and Hallmark Health System.
The Pioneer ACO that Partners affiliated physicians are participating in is sponsored by Medicare. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients. Coordinated care helps ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.
Find a list of providers participating in the Partners Pioneer ACO.
Enhancing the Care You Receive
By participating in the Pioneer ACO, your primary care physician has the opportunity to enhance the care you receive by better coordinating your care with your other health care providers. The goal of the Pioneer ACO is to deliver high quality care and better meet your individual needs and preferences. This is done by enabling your doctors to communicate closely with your other health care providers through enhanced sharing of your health care information. ACOs may be rewarded for providing you with better, more coordinated care.
Your Medicare Benefits
If your Partners affiliated physician is a part of the Pioneer ACO your benefits are not changing with this new program. And this is not a Medicare Advantage plan or an HMO. Your health coverage, premiums and insurance arrangements are unaffected. You do not need to do anything or change your doctor. You can continue to see the same clinicians as you normally do. And you are always free to choose any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare at any time.
Your primary care physician may continue to recommend that you see particular doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice of what doctors you use or hospitals you visit.
Partners' Commitment to High Quality Care
Partners HealthCare is committed to providing high quality, affordable care to our patients. Through the Pioneer ACO we will be able to create a better health care experience for you by working in a more coordinated way so that your medical needs can be more efficiently and effectively addressed. By doing so we will be able to maintain and aim to improve the quality of your care.
Please see the links below for additional information.
There are a number of frequently asked questions and answers that may help you better understand your primary care provider's participation in an Accountable Care Organization.
Find a copy of the notification letter you received in the mail explaining what it means to be part of an Accountable Care Organization.
Please complete this form if you do not wish to allow Medicare to share information about your health care with your doctor’s Accountable Care Organization. Sharing Medicare information about your health care, such as visits to the doctor or hospital, medical conditions, and prescriptions is completely up to you. Whether or not you share this information about your health care will not change the care you receive from your primary care physician. Please know that the information that Medicare has about your health care is valuable in helping us provide better coordinated care and to better meet your health care needs.
Please complete this form if you have previously completed the “Authorization to Withhold Personal Health Information Form” and have decided that now you would like to allow Medicare to share information about your health care with your doctor’s Accountable Care Organization.
Partners HealthCare has formed a Governing Committee to provide guidance on overall direction for the Pioneer ACO.