Aetna and Meridian Health announced a new commercial ACO through Meridian’s clinically integrated network, Meridian Health Partners. In a joint statement, the companies said the ACO would be co-branded and offered to employers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New  Jersey. Participating physicians include those already part of Meridian Health Partners, physicians at Meridian hospitals, as well as affiliated and independent physicians within Monmouth and Ocean counties. The Aetna Whole Health—Meridian Health ACO includes 200 primary care physicians, 700 specialists and six hospitals.

Separately, Aetna announced it signed an agreement with Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization. The ACO will cover about 70,000 commercial members in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Delaware Valley ACO is an MSSP participant covering more than 65,000 Medicare beneficiaries; in its first year reporting outcomes data, it reported $6.6 million in shared savings, about $102 per beneficiary.

Florida Blue and Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization announced a new accountable care program for the South Florida region. The new ACO will include physicians and patients in the Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. Palm Beach ACO is an MSSP participant covering 34,600 Medicare beneficiaries; in its first year, it reported $14.5 million in shared savings, or $930 per beneficiary.The collaboration is Florida Blue’s 23rd ACO contract, according to the Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate.

Our Take: It isn’t new for existing ACOs to seek out multiple partners, but it’s happening now with increased frequency. Commercial ACO agreements have historically formed with a payer and a large health system like Montefiore or Banner Health at its core. Now, showing signs of independence and frankly, strong leadership, successful MSSPs are taking their model outside the Medicare population. Payers see this opportunity as low-risk, high reward because these ACOs have demonstrated competence and fiscal responsibility.

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