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A Texas-Sized ACO Takes Shape

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 18, 2013

Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas are teaming up to develop an accountable care organization that will better manage the cost of care for 100,000 members.

The Lone Star state's largest insurer and Houston's largest health system are teaming up to develop a Texas-sized accountable care organization.


Big Tex


Big Tex

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Memorial Hermann Health System expect their ACO arrangement to be underway by July 2014.

The two are undertaking the effort to better manage the care for, and the cost of, the 100,000 Blues members seen by 2,000 physicians in the Memorial Hermann Physician Network, which is part of the 12-hospital Memorial Hermann Health System.

Robert Morrow, MD, medical director for BCBSTX, says the new ACO is the "logical progression" of the payment methodologies such as bundled payments and shared savings being applied throughout the healthcare industry as providers and payers make the paradigm shift from paying for procedures and volume to paying for value.

ACOs are about using data to drive and demonstrate improved patient outcomes, as well as a cost savings, Morrow says.

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