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Orlando Health, Florida Blue Form ACO

Orlando Health Physician Partners and Florida Blue have launched an accountable care organization that will include 500 doctors and eight hospitals in Central Florida. An ACO is a new type of Medicare financial arrangement that rewards the doctor-and-hospital network for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital, rather than rewarding them for filling beds. 

An ACO accepts financial risk from the federal government to provide all medical care needed by a certain group of Medicare beneficiaries -- who may not even know they have been assigned to that ACO.  It is up to the ACO to make its medical home friendly enough to encourage the patients to keep using it.

Orlando Health Physician Partners is a subsidiary of Orlando Health, a $1.9 billion not-for-profit network active in Lake, Seminole and Orange counties.

In a press release, Dr. Wayne Jenkins, president of Orlando Health Physician Partners, called the move away from the traditional fee-for-service model “the future of the health care delivery system...”  The ACO program will start Jan. 1. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.