Pursuant to G.L., c. 6D, §15, the HPC is required to "establish a process for certain registered provider organizations to be certified as accountable care organizations." The purpose of the certification program is to complement existing local and national care transformation and payment reform efforts, encourage value-based care delivery, and promote investments by all payers in high-quality and cost-effective care across the continuum. The HPC’s ACO Certification program also complements its PCMH Certification program.
Since its inception in 2017, the ACO Certification program has served to provide all-payer standards for ACO care delivery and transparent information for the public on ACO structures and operations. As of 2023, the HPC has certified seventeen ACOs that collectively represent more than 3 million attributed commercial, Medicare, and MassHealth patients in the Commonwealth. Certification is effective for a term of two years.
The program serves as a source for a series of briefs, profiles, and webinars that offer transparent, publicly available information about how ACOs are structured and operating today. These products can be found in the “Additional Resources” section below. Questions about the ACO Certification program may be sent to HPC-Certification@mass.gov.
ACO Learning, Equity, and Patient-Centeredness (LEAP) 2024-2025
The HPC updated its ACO Certification standards for certifications effective beginning in 2022. This first significant update to the certification standards since the ACO Certification program’s inception is known as ACO LEAP, reflecting its emphasis on learning, equity, and patient-centeredness. The ACO LEAP standards are designed to allow for a variety of ACO approaches to meeting core principles consistent with the “Learning Health System” framework developed by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). This approach focuses on the ACO model as a catalyst for learning and improvement, recognizing ACO structures, processes, and approaches conducive to learning and improvement over time.
In 2024 and 2025, the core certification criteria remain the same as in the prior application cycle, but the HPC has strengthened and focused the program's health equity component. These updates were reviewed by the HPC’s Care Delivery Transformation Committee at its February 15, 2023 meeting.
Key Resources for 2024-2025 Applicants
2024-2025 Application Requirements and Platform User Guide (PUG)
PUG – Risk Contracts Template
PUG – Population Health Management Programs and Targets Template
PUG – Behavioral Health Integration Process and Targets Template
2024-25 Application Requirements Overview Webinar Slides
2024-25 Application Requirements Overview Webinar Recording
HPC-Certified ACOs - LEAP 2022-2023
Atrius Health, Inc.
Baycare Health Partners, Inc., inclusive of Pioneer Valley Accountable Care, LLC; and Baystate Health Care Alliance, LLC
Berkshire Health Systems, Inc. (certification effective 2023-2024)
Beth Israel Lahey Health Performance Network, inclusive of Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization, LLC (Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization); Lahey Clinical Performance Network, LLC; and Lahey Clinical Performance Accountable Care Organization, LLC
BMC Health System, Inc., inclusive of Boston Accountable Care Organization, Inc.; and BMC Integrated Care Services, Inc.
Cambridge Public Health Commission D/B/A Cambridge Health Alliance
Children’s Medical Center Corporation, inclusive of Children’s Hospital Corporation; and Boston Children’s Health Accountable Care Organization (Boston Children’s Accountable Care Organization)
Community Care Cooperative, Inc.
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Corp. (certification effective 2023-2024)
Mass General Brigham, inclusive of Mass General Brigham Accountable Care Organization, LLC
Reliant Medical Group, Inc.
Signature Healthcare Corporation D/B/A Signature Healthcare
Southcoast Health System, Inc., inclusive of Southcoast Accountable Care Organization, LLC; and Southcoast Health Network, LLC
Steward Health Care Network, Inc., inclusive of Steward Medicaid Care Network, Inc.; and Steward National Care Network, Inc.
Trinity Health of New England, inclusive of Southern New England Healthcare Organization; Mercy Health Accountable Care Organization, LLC; Riverbend Medical Group, Inc.; and Trinity Health of New England ACO, LLC
Tufts Medicine, inclusive of Wellforce Care Plan, LLC; Lowell General Hospital/Lowell General Physician Hospital Organization; Circle Health Alliance, LLC; and New England Quality Care Alliance, Inc.
UMass Memorial Health, Inc. (certification effective 2023-2024)
Contact for The HPC Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Certification Program