|By Christopher Snowbeck, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
ACO stands for "accountable care organization," a new type of payment relationship established by the federal health care law of 2010 within the
If health care providers can provide better care at a lower cost, the contracts let them share some of the savings. In time, the contracts also put doctors at hospitals at financial risk if care costs for a group of patients turn out to be higher than expected.
"This is a fundamental change in the way we do business," said Jesson, whose department runs the state's
100,000 people in the state's public health insurance programs are cared for by providers who are subject to the new contracts. They include
Overall, the public health insurance programs cover some 800,000 Minnesotans.
In the future, the state expects to sign more ACO-style contracts with doctor and hospital groups, Jesson said. She said the agreements do not limit where patients can obtain care.
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