60 accountable care organizations form association

Walgreens' Jeffrey Kang named to interim board

WASHINGTON — Organizations representing more than 60 accountable care organizations from more than 15 states have come together to form the National Association of ACOs, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization that allows ACOs to work together to increase quality of care, lower costs and improve the health of their communities. Membership is expected to exceed 100 ACOs by April, representing more than 2 million Medicare assigned beneficiaries.

"This is a natural evolution of what was an informal network of ACO executives recognizing the need for the ACO industry to have its voice clearly and consistently at the table as regulations and program rules are developed by CMS and the states," stated Mike Barrett, NAACOS chair. "Equally important is providing a forum for a peer to peer exchange of effective and efficient solutions to the myriad of operational challenges."

The association is sponsoring its first national conference and membership meeting in Baltimore March 19-21. Attendees will hear from key CMS leadership on the ACO programs and Medicare's Quality Reporting and Improvement Programs and have the opportunity to learn from one and other in peer-to-peer exchanges and breakout sessions. For information about NAACOS and the conference, visit www.naacos.com.

"It is phenomenal that this many ACOs could come together in a matter of 8 weeks to form such an important organization," observed Clif Gaus, NAACOS president. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has recognized 258 organizations as ACOs, and private insurance plans are working with numerous other ACOs in cities across the US. 

NAACOS is governed by an interim board of directors until the permanent board will be elected in June. In addition to Barrett — who is from Heritage California ACO — and Gaus, the interim board includes:

  • Ted Carpenter, president Medicare Advantage Division, UAM;
  • Jay Cohen, executive chairman of Monarch HealthCare;
  • Randy Cook, president and CEO AmpliPHY Physician Services;
  • Karen Furbush, business consultant and program manager at the John C Lincoln Accountable Care Organization;
  • Thomas Graf, chief medical officer, population health for Geisinger Health System;
  • Peter Gross, chair of the ACO Board of Managers;
  • Jeffrey Kang, SVP health and wellness division at Walgreens;
  • Kimberly Kauffman, executive director of Summit Health Solutions;
  • Stephen Nuckolls, CEO Coastal Carolina Quality Care; and
  • Bruce Merlin Fried, partner at SNR Denton US. 


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