It is always interesting to follow the successes and failures of healthcare reform.  The touted solution of Obamacare revolves around the formation of the Accountable Care Organization (ACO).  Recently, there has been quite a bit of press about the failure of ACO’s and more recently United Healthcare has publicly reported that they will be dropping out of the healthcare exchange market due to extensive losses.  So what is the real story?

Are ACO’s successful or are they failing?  What are the characteristics of success or failure.  Although this article doesn’t go into all that detail it outlines by numbers, where ACO’s are in 2016

The number of active accountable care organizations in the US increased by 94 over the past year to 838  according to a recent report by Leavitt Partners and the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative published in Health Affairs.

However growth varied from state to state.  More often blue (Democratic) states have higher penetration and red (Republican) states have lower numbers of ACO’s

Overall 8.9 percent of the U.S. population is covered by ACOs. The states with the highest Accountable Care Organization penetration — the percentage of lives in a market that are covered by an ACO contract — varies from those with the most ACOs.

Several states had over 20 percent of their residents covered by ACO’s: Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.   These states either had one dominant player or strong competition.

It will be interesting to see what happens to ACO’s over the next year as several health plans have discussed dropping out  of the healthcare exchanges and others have argued they will substantially be increasing their fees.   So far, it appears there continues to be a growth in ACO’s.  Will 2015-6 be the apex or is it just part of the steady rise of ACO’s?


Source: Accountable Care Organizations In 2016: Private And Public-Sector Growth And Dispersion