If your doctor chooses to participate in an ACO, you will be notified. This notification might be a letter, written information provided to you when you see your doctor, a sign posted in a hospital, or it might be a conversation with your doctor the next time you go to see him or her.
If you aren’t sure if your doctor or healthcare provider is participating in a Medicare ACO, ask him or her. For general information on ACOs, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day 7/days a week. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Over time, if you see a doctor participating in an ACO, you may notice that:
- You don’t have to fill out as many medical forms that ask for the same information;
- The health care providers that you see all know what is going on with your health because they communicate with each other;
- You don’t have to have the same medical tests done over and over because your results are shared among your health care team;
- The providers participating in the ACO will become partners with you in making care decisions.
Here are things that won’t change because your doctor is part of an ACO:
- What you pay, your Medicare benefits, or the cost of your coverage should not increase;
- Your right to choose any hospital or doctor that accepts Medicare, at any time, will not change even if that hospital or doctor is not part of an ACO.
Some ACOs may hire people to help check on your care. They may call you after an appointment or a procedure to make sure you understand how to take your medicines or schedule follow-up visits. They will also share information with your doctor to make sure you get the right care.
Your Privacy is Very Important to Us
Just like Medicare, ACOs must put important safeguards in place to make sure all your health care information is safe. ACOs respect your choice on the use of your health care information for care coordination and quality improvement.
Yes, share my information: If you want Medicare to share information about care you have received with us and with other ACOs in which any of your doctors or other healthcare providers participate, then there’s nothing more you need to do.
No, please don’t share my information: If you don’t want Medicare to share information with Gulf Coast Health Partners or with any other ACOs for care coordination and quality improvement purposes, you must do the following:
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Tell the representative you are calling about ACOs and that you do not want Medicare to share your health care information with ACOs. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
- If you change your mind in the future, call 1-800-MEDICARE and tell the representative what you have decided. We can’t communicate with Medicare on your behalf.
Even if you decline to share your health care information, Medicare will still use your information for some purposes, including certain financial calculations and determining the quality of care given by your healthcare providers participating in ACOs. Also, Medicare may share some of your health care information with ACOs when measuring the quality of care given by healthcare providers participating in ACOs.