ANN ARBOR, Mich.
— Eight Michigan physician groups have partnered with the University of Michigan Health System to form an accountable care organization. The ACO, known as Physician Organization of Michigan ACO, or POM ACO, was one of 106 new ACO contracts announced by the CMS on Jan. 10, as part of the agency’s Medicare Shared Savings Program. According to officials leading POM ACO, the initiative will build on the University of Michigan Health System’s experience with ACOs. UMHS took part in a CMS demonstration project that launched in 2005 and served as a model for its ACO program. UMHS is also in its second year of participation in the CMS’ Pioneer ACO Model program. “This is part of our statewide mission, and our goal of using our knowledge to improve care through new practices, policies and partnerships,” Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan and CEO of UMHS, said in a news release. “Additionally, it builds on several years of our experience and demonstrated success developing ACO models.” The eight other participating groups, located across the state’s Lower Peninsula, include Lakeshore Health Network, Muskegon; Crawford Mercy Physician Hospital Organization, Cadillac; and United Physicians, Bingham Farms. POM ACO will comprise more than 1,800 physicians who care for roughly 81,000 patients, according to UMHS.