Seems like everyone I meet nowadays is from an accountable care organization. Except they’re not, since the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services has yet to issue a rule defining what an ACO will truly be accountable for and how shared savings will work.

Wayne Sass, CIO at Greater Newport Physicians, an IPA in Newport Beach, Calif., didn’t tell me he’s in an ACO when we sat down at HIMSS.  But I can tell you that, thanks to the IPA’s work in an ACO collaborative project, he’s closer than the vast majority of the herd. “There’s a real lack of understanding around that term. It seems a lot of people have different interpretations of what an ‘ACO’ means,” he said. “People who are saying they’re part of an ACO are defining it in their own terms, based on how they’re delivering care today.”

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