Notice to Our Patients
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs): Providing Better, Coordinated Care for You
I am participating in The Iowa Clinic's ACO, a Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO. An ACO is a group of doctors, hospitals, and/or other health care providers working together with Medicare to give you better, more coordinated service and health care. Think of an ACO as a team made up of your doctors and other health care providers. We are working together to share important information and resources about your individual needs and preferences.
Doctors and hospitals in an ACO communicate with you and with each other to make sure that you get the care you need when you're sick, and the support you need to stay healthy.
You Can Still Choose Any Doctor or Hospital
Your Medicare benefits aren't changing. ACOs are not a Medicare Advantage plan, an HMO plan, or an insurance plan of any kind. You still have the right to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare, at any time. Your doctor may recommend that you see particular doctors or health care providers, but it's always your choice about what doctors and providers you use or hospitals you visit.
Having Your Health Information Gives Us a More Complete Picture of Your Health
To help The Iowa Clinic ACO give you better, coordinated care, Medicare will share information with us about your care. The information will include things like dates and times you visited a doctor or hospital, your medical conditions, and a list of past and current prescriptions.
This information from other healthcare providers will give me and other healthcare providers in the ACO a more complete and up-to-date picture of your health.
If you choose to let Medicare share your health care information with The Iowa Clinic ACO, it may also be shared with other ACOs in which your other doctors or healthcare providers participate. If you don't want your health care information shared, you can ask Medicare not share it.
Your Privacy is Very Important to Us
Just like Medicare, ACOs must put important safeguards in place to make sure all your health care information is safe. ACOs respect your choice on the use of your health care information for care coordination and quality improvement.
Yes, share my information: If you want Medicare to share information about care you have received with us and with other ACOs in which any of your doctors or other healthcare providers participate, then there's nothing more you need to do.
No, please don't share my information: If you don't want Medicare to share information with The Iowa Clinic ACO or with any other ACOs for care coordination and quality improvement purposes, you must do the following:
- Call 1.800.MEDICARE (1.800.633.4227). Tell the representative you are calling about ACOs and that you do not want Medicare to share your health care information with ACOs. TTY users should call 1.877.486.2048.
- If you change your mind in the future, call 1.800.MEDICARE and tell the representative what you have decided. We can't communicate with Medicare on your behalf.
Even if you decline to share your health care information, Medicare will still use your information for some purposes, including certain financial calculations and determining the quality of care given by your healthcare providers participating in ACOs. Also, Medicare may share some of your health care information with ACOs when measuring the quality of care given by healthcare providers participating in ACOs.
If you have questions or concerns, we can discuss them next time you're in our office.
You also can call 1.800.MEDICARE and tell the representative you're calling to learn more about ACOs, or visit Medicare.gov/acos.html.