We are Proud to be an Accountable Care Organization
Dean Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital have chosen to participate in a Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Program. This means that our providers are working together with Medicare to give you better service and care.
As an ACO, Dean Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital uses advanced systems that let us more carefully track your care and make sure your doctor has the most up-to-date information about your health. The goal of the ACO is to support your doctor in caring for you. ACOs help your primary care provider and all others work together more closely, by making sure they have the most up-to-date information about your health and your care.
For you, this means your doctors communicate better with each other, and you may avoid having duplicate tests or answering the same questions over and over. Working together, your doctors can do more to follow your health, make sure you get the best possible care and consult you on what works best for you. Doctors and other healthcare providers choose to participate in an ACO because they’re committed to providing you with a better care experience.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can call us at 1-800-279-9966 or bring it up next time you’re in your doctor’s office. You can also visit the ACO section of medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE and tell the operator you are asking about ACOs (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048).
Commonly Asked Questions by Medicare Beneficiaries
If my doctor is in an ACO, can I still see whatever doctor I want?
Yes. Your Medicare benefits are not changing, and you will still receive your benefits through Original Medicare.
Is an ACO a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), managed care or insurance company?
No. This isn’t a Medicare Advantage plan or an HMO plan. You still have the right to use any doctor or hospital who accepts Medicare, at any time. We may continue to recommend that you see particular doctors for your specific health needs, but it’s always your choice about what doctors you use or hospitals you visit.
Where can I find more information about ACO’s?
Will my Medicare costs go up?
No. What you pay, your Medicare benefits and/or the cost of your coverage should not increase.
How does this program affect me? Does it help me?
Yes, it is meant to help patients. To help us give you the right care in the right place at the right time, Medicare plans to start sharing certain health information with us about your care. This information will include things like visits to the doctor or hospital, medical conditions and prescriptions you’ve had in the past and moving forward.
Having this information will help us and your other health care providers participating in our ACO give you high-quality care, because we will have the most up-to-date information about your health.
Will my medical information be protected?
Yes. The privacy and security of your medical information is protected by law.
What if I do not want to participate?
Your privacy is very important to us, and you control the use of your personal health information. Like Medicare, we have important safeguards in place to make sure all your medical information is safe but you can opt-out of information sharing.
Can I decline to share my personal health information?
Yes, if you choose, you can ask Medicare not to share your personal health information with us by doing one of these things:
• Call 1-800 MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
• Complete, sign and return the Declining to Share Personal Health Information form to us.
• Ask for and fill out the Declining to Share Personal Health Information form the next time you are at your doctor’s office.
What if I am receiving drug or alcohol treatment somewhere other
than Dean & St. Mary’s?
Medicare will not share any information about alcohol or drug treatment without express written permission. If you have received such treatment, it is important that we understand all of your health needs in order to allow the health care providers that treat you to coordinate your care. To give this permission:
• Complete, sign and return the Consent for the Release of Confidential Alcohol or Drug Treatment Information form to us.
• Or ask for and fill out the Consent for the Release of Confidential Alcohol or Drug Treatment Information form the next time you are at your doctor’s office.
If I opt out of information sharing now, can I opt back in?
Yes. Simply do one of the following:
• Please call 1-800 Medicare (1-800-663-4227) and tell them that you have changed you mind and that you do want your data shared. You will receive a letter confirming this change.
• Complete, sign and return the Consent to Change Personal Health Information form to us.
• Ask for and fill out the Consent to Change Personal Health Information form the next time you are at your doctor’s office.
What if I change my mind later and decide that I do not want
information shared about drug and alcohol treatment?
You can change your mind at any time. All you need to do is call 1-800 Medicare and tell them that you no longer wish to have your drug and alcohol treatment information shared. You will receive a letter confirming the change and it will take about 45 days to take effect.
How long do I have to respond to say that I do not want my personal
health information shared with the ACO?
Medicare values your privacy. For that reason, you can prevent Medicare from sharing your personal health information, or otherwise change any of your preferences, at any time.
Just call 1-800 MEDICARE, and they can help you set your preferences the way you want them. You can also fill out any of the above forms and send them to us if you prefer.
I recently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan but I also received
a notice Dean & St. Mary’s is now part of an ACO, does that change anything?
Because you chose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, the notice you received about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is no longer accurate. Please disregard it.