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5 Illinois health networks get Medicare ACO nod

CHICAGO — The federal government has approved five Illinois networks of health care providers to participate in a program aimed at controlling costs and improving quality in Medicare.

The five are among 106 newly minted accountable care organizations that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday.

Accountable care organizations — known as ACOs — will share cost savings with Medicare if they can keep quality high while reducing unnecessary spending.

The five that were newly approved in Illinois are Alexian Brothers, Christie Clinic, Franciscan Union, Independent Physicians ACO of Chicago and Medicare Value Partners.

ACOs are part of the national health care overhaul that President Barack Obama champions. Each ACO must manage the care for at least 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries for three years.

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