Patient Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?
An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of doctors, hospitals and other health care clinicians who agree to work together with Medicare to make sure you get the support you need to get and stay healthy and the care you need when you’re sick. ACOs have agreements with Medicare to be financially accountable for the quality, cost of care and the experience you receive.
UT Health San Antonio Regional Physician Network is a Medicare Shared Savings Program ACO, you may have received notification that your doctor is in this ACO.
Does an ACO change my Medicare benefits?
Your doctor’s participation in an ACO doesn’t change your Medicare benefits. An ACO is not an HMO managed care or Medicare Advantage plan. You still have original Medicare (Medicare fee-for-service), and your Medicare services, rights and protections also haven’t changed. An ACO can’t tell you which doctors and clinicians to see or hospital to visit and can’t limit your Medicare benefits. Your doctor may make recommendations based on quality, but it’s always your choice when it comes to which doctors or hospitals you use.
What kind of providers are part of the UT Health San Antonio Regional Physician Network ACO?
We have a network of primary care doctors, specialists, and care team members working to improve the health of the patients we care for.
How does the UT Health San Antonio Regional Physician Network help me?
UT Health San Antonio Regional Physician Network has a team of care managers, nurses and Quality Information Specialists to help you and your family with navigating and coordinating your health care needs. This is called care management or care coordination services.
- If eligible, we provide you and your family with individualized support for the transition home or to your next site of care through our Care Transitions Program.
- Upon discharge, you will be provided with a Care Transition Nurse Navigator (Transitions Nurse) and/or a series of follow-up phone calls to help you navigate your care after you leave the hospital. Services are provided free of charge.
- You may be assigned a care manager to see you in your primary care doctor office or speak with you on the phone.
The value of having a primary care doctor
A primary care doctor (PCP) can help ensure you receive the right care, at the right time and the right place. A PCP can help you and your family by acting like a quarterback of all health care services. Your PCP can best manage your health care by providing regular and preventative care and can help keep your health on track. See below on how to find a PCP to best fit your needs.
Benefits of receiving care from an ACO
With an ACO, you’re at the center of care, and your satisfaction is an important goal. Over time, you may notice:
- Less paperwork: You may not have to fill out as many medical forms that ask for the same information.
- Enhanced communication: Everyone on your care team knows what’s going on with your health because they communicate with each other.
- Fewer tests: You don’t need to repeat medical tests because your results are shared among your health care team.
- More choice: You’re free to choose your own doctor, but staying within the UT Health San Antonio Regional Physician Network can help us provide you with coordinated, high-quality care at a lower cost.