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60 accountable care organizations form association

BY Michael Johnsen

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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New Justin Timberlake album sold at Target features two bonus tracks

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is selling a special edition of Justin Timberlake’s new studio album, the mass-merchandise retailer said Monday.

Target said its edition of Timberlake’s album, "The 20/20 Experience," would feature two bonus tracks, "Dress On" and "Body Count."

"Partnering with Justin Timberlake continues Target’s track record of working with some of music’s biggest and most iconic stars," Target divisional merchandise manager of entertainment Anne Stanchfield said. "Our goal is to fuel our guests’ passion for music and with excitement for the launch of ‘The 20/20 Experience,’ fans won’t want to miss the extra tracks available only at Target."

 

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Ahold sells stake in ICA

BY Alaric DeArment

AMSTERDAM — Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold is selling its majority stake in a Scandinavian supermarket chain to an investors group, the company said Monday.

Ahold, which operates the Giant-Carlisle, Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop banners and the Peapod online grocery service in the United States, said it would sell its 60% stake in ICA to Hakon Invest of Sweden for $3.3 billion.

ICA, based in Sweden, operates the ICA and Rimi chains in Norway and the Baltics.

 

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