A Collaboration Among

North Country Physicians Organization • St. Lawrence Health System • The University of Vermont Medical Center



Accountable Care Organization (ACO) of the North Country, LLC

Learn about how an ACO can benefit patients and health care providers.


What Is An ACO?

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare beneficiaries (patients). The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO succeeds both in both delivering high-quality care and spending health care dollars more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.

What Is A Medicare Beneficiary?

Beneficiaries are those persons eligible to enroll in the Medicare Program. Medicare is a United States Federal government program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Medicare is designed to provide health-care coverage for people over the age of 65. Medicare does cover the cost of medical care and treatment for some people under 65, such as those with end-stage renal disease, where the patient needs ongoing dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. The Medicare program is divided into separate parts, with each part providing different aspects of health-care coverage.

What Is A Care Coordinator?

A Care Coordinator is a nurse who helps you control your disease, keeping you on track with medications, diet, and exercise. As your personal health care advocate, your care coordinator, connects you to doctors, specialists and other medical resources like nutritionists, social workers, and pharmacists to help ensure that you have additional support and resources to successfully maintain optimal care. They will empower you to be an active participant in your health and will strive to give you what you need to make the best decisions so your care plan will work and to make sure you are well informed about your care. The Care Coordinator will follow-up with you to answer any questions or make changes to your care plan based on your health care needs.