One group we work with has an opportunity to form an ACO. In their case, their combined business revenues are less than the $50 million. By our calculations, they stand to receive approximately $900K the first year in guaranteed payments regardless if they are able to demonstrate savings to Medicare.
What is involved? There are many hoops to jump through, but as we see it, these hoops are largely administrative paperwork and the case management and cost reductions can be managed by the physician owners rather than an outside insurance agency. The timeline is short so you might want to consider filing a letter of intent, just to hold open the possibility.
Take a look at the regs. and consider if your group practice can participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity to garner part of the savings that they generate.
(update, there was no savings on the horizon and the ACO was simply a pipeline and handcuff to keep referrals going to the founding hospital)