Frequently Asked Questions
An ACO is an Accountable Care Organization comprised of doctors, medical groups, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals who work together to deliver high-quality, coordinated care to the patients they serve. It’s called an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) because these healthcare professionals hold themselves responsible for the quality and results each patient receives.
North Central Arizona Accountable Care participates as a Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization that allows your doctors and other healthcare providers to coordinate and communicate with each other in providing your medical care. The goal of an ACO is increased coordination and communication to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care possible. For more information about accountable care organizations, please visit The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (
Coordinated care means that all of your healthcare professionals work together to help make sure you get the right care at the right time. They communicate with each other, with the goal of preventing medical errors and avoiding needless repetition of services.
You benefit because your physicians are part of a coordinated team and you may not have to complete as many medical forms that require the same information. Also, each of your physicians will not only know about the health issues they’ve treated you for, they will also have more information about care provided by other physicians.
North Central Arizona Accountable Care (NCAAC) is committed to working together with patients and community providers to provide high-quality care and service at no additional charge to the patient. The result is a healthier patient population and reduced expenses to the Medicare fund. In addition, patients are guaranteed the freedom to choose any doctor who accepts Medicare. Physician-members of NCAAC have made a commitment to provide their patients with the best possible medical care, at the right place, at the right time.
There is no additional charge for receiving the benefit of your provider participating in North Central Arizona Accountable Care (NCAAC). In fact, over time, NCAAC may help you to lower your overall medical expenses. NCAAC healthcare providers protect the rights of all fee-for-service Medicare patients, including the right to choose any doctor or provider that accepts Medicare.
No. North Central Arizona Accountable Care (NCAAC) is not a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). NCAAC follows Medicare rules, and allows beneficiaries the freedom to choose their own healthcare providers. HMOs on the other hand require you to receive care from a predefined network of corporate providers. When you choose an NCAAC healthcare provider, you benefit.
An ACO is not a Medicare Advantage Plan or an HMO Plan. If you have traditional Medicare, you retain the right to use any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare, at any time. Your healthcare provider may continue to recommend that you see participating doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice about what doctors you use or the hospitals you visit.
A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a care delivery model where a patient’s treatment is coordinated through their primary care physician to ensure they receive the necessary care when and where they need it, in a manner they can understand.

The objective is to have a centralized setting that creates a partnership between a patient, the patient’s healthcare providers, and when appropriate, the patient’s family. Care is facilitated through registries, information technology and the exchange of health information.
Wellness is a term that symbolizes the healthy balance between the body, mind and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. Wellness constitutes a shift in focus away from illness in viewing human health with an emphasis on personal initiative.
Electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE) allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare providers and patients to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s medical information electronically – improving the speed, quality and safety of patient care while reducing the cost of patient care.

The appropriate, timely sharing of patient health information can better inform decision making at the point of care and allow providers to:
  • Proactively control chronic disease
  • Avoid hospital readmissions
  • Avoid medical errors
  • Improve diagnoses
  • Decrease duplicate testing