Accountable Care Organization Basics

What ACOs Mean for Patients

What is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?

  • ACOs are groups of doctors and other health care providers who voluntarily work together with Medicare to give you high quality service and care at the right time in the right setting.
  • The doctors at Lakeshore Medical Clinic have agreed to participate in a Medicare Shared Savings ACO and to work closely with other doctors and health care providers in the ACO to coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries, like yourself, who have traditional Medicare.
  • The ACO may share in any savings that result from providing you with high quality and more coordinated care.

ACOs Do Not Change Your Medicare Benefits

  • An ACO is not a Medicare Advantage plan or an HMO plan.
  • If you have traditional Medicare, you still have the right to use any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare, at any time.
  • Your doctor may continue to recommend that you see particular doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice about what doctors you use or hospitals you visit.

An ACO means that more information will be shared to provide you with the best care – but as always, you control your personal information

To help us give you the right care, in the right place, at the right time, Medicare will start sharing information with us about your care. This will include things like visits to the doctor or hospital, medical conditions, and prescriptions you’ve had in the past and moving forward. Having this information will help us give you the best possible care, because we’ll have the most up-to-date information about your health.  

Your privacy is very important to us, and you control the use of your personal information. Just like Medicare, we put important safeguards in place to make sure all your medical information is safe.  

You can Decline the Sharing of Your Personal Health Information

Medicare will share information with your doctor’s ACO about your medical conditions, prescriptions, and visits to the doctor. If you choose, you can decline to have your personal information shared with us by doing one of these things:

  • Call 1-800 MEDICARE (800-633-4227). TTY users should call 877-486-2048.
  • Complete and sign the Decline to Share Personal Health Information form.
  • Return signed form to your physician's office.

If you choose to decline, we need to get your decision so that Medicare does not begin sharing this information with us. However, you can always choose to stop this information-sharing in the future.   

If you have questions or concerns, you can call an Aurora Accountable Care Organization representative at 414-762-2658, or bring it up next time you’re in the office.  You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 877-486-2048) or visit www.Medicare.gov.