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What Is an ACO?

An ACO is a group of doctors, hospitals, and/or other health care providers who work together to improve the quality and experience of care to the Medicare patients they serve. Coordinated care helps ensure that patients get the right care at the right time and with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

The providers of Alomere Health, CentraCare, St. Cloud Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic and CHI St. Gabriel's Health participate in the Central Minnesota ACO, LLC.

Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
Working together to give you the best care.

What does this mean for me?

Local health care systems, providers, and hospitals work together to provide coordinated care for you to get well and stay well. You get patient-centered care focused on YOUR needs. Your ACO health care providers communicate with each other and partner with you in making health care decisions. They share information and may use Electronic Health Records (EHRs), to review test results, treatments, and prescriptions. More coordination helps prevent medical errors and may make it easier to identify potential problems before they become more serious. You may save time, money, and frustration by avoiding repeated tests and unneeded appointments. Better communication can help protect against Medicare fraud and waste.

When you choose a health care provider that participates in an ACO, they’ll help you get the right care at the right time to make sure you get the best care.

How do ACOs share health information?

One of the most important benefits of an ACO is that your doctors and other providers can communicate and coordinate your care. Medicare shares information with Central Minnesota ACO doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, to help improve how they provide care for you. For example, your doctors will get your medical information from Medicare to help them to know your medical history, including your medical conditions, prescriptions, and visits to the doctor.

Medicare protects the privacy and security of your medical information, which is protected by federal law.

If you don’t want Medicare to share your health care information with your doctors or other providers of the Central Minnesota ACO, you can call Medicare and talk to one of their representatives. Medicare may still share general information to measure provider quality.

  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
  • TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048

For more information on how Medicare may use your information, visit and search for “privacy.”