IRCCO and Collaborative Health Systems partner to expand value-based care

The Illinois Rural Community Care Organization, LLC (IRCCO), the first statewide Accountable Care Organization (ACO) to serve rural Illinois, announced May 24, 2021, it is partnering with Collaborative Health Systems, a management services organization, to expand value-based care in the state.

Through the agreement, rural and critical access hospitals and providers have agreed to enter into a joint venture partnership with IRCCO and Collaborative Health Systems to help improve quality outcomes and lower healthcare costs for Medicare beneficiaries living in Illinois rural communities.  The new joint venture – called Rural Community Health Services – will be headquartered in Princeton, IL.

Rural ACO Providers Collaborating in Value-Based Care
IRCCO – a collaborative organization focused on delivering primary care, chronic disease management, care coordination, and social services locally – was established in 2014 by the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN), a trade association of critical access hospitals serving rural Illinois communities.

Collaborative Health Systems will provide IRCCO with actionable data and analytics, strategic growth planning, care coordination, and market leadership to expand and strengthen local healthcare services. Together, the organizations will operate Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs), and will enter into value-based care contracts with Medicare Advantage organizations.

"IRCCO critical access hospitals are pleased to partner with Collaborative Health Systems, which shares our strong commitment to helping our provider partners thrive in value-based care arrangements that reward them for improving quality of care and health outcomes for our rural residents," said Greg Starnes, IRCCO's Board Chair and CEO of Sarah Bush Lincoln Fayette County Hospital.

For nearly a decade, Collaborative Health Systems has helped healthcare providers navigate and succeed in value-based models such as the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), the Next Generation ACO Model, Direct Contracting, and Medicare Advantage (MA). Since 2012, the company has paid $108 million in shared savings to its physician partners. In addition, for the most recent 2019 MSSP and NextGen Performance Year, Collaborative Health Systems-supported ACOs achieved an average quality score of 94.6%, and its providers received $22.3 million in shared savings.

"At Collaborative Health Systems, we are committed to working with our provider partners and investing in solutions that improve quality, lower costs, and help physicians thrive under value-based care arrangements," said Anthony Valdés, President of Collaborative Health Systems. "Together with IRCCO, we look forward to improving quality outcomes for beneficiaries and delivering savings to our provider partners."

To learn more about IRCCO, visit To learn more about Collaborative Health Systems, visit

About Illinois Rural Community Care Organization, LLC (IRCCO)
IRCCO provides participating critical access hospitals, rural hospitals, clinics and physician practices with the benefits derived from belonging to a larger health system. These include potential revenue from shared savings programs, value-based programs by health plans, financial incentives and support resources to reduce administrative costs. IRCCO members share their learning and knowledge to better coordinate care, identify best practices, engage our patients, and improve health outcomes at an overall lower cost of care. IRCCO has earned the distinction of improving quality outcomes achieving a score of 94 percent based on CMS Quality standards.

IRCCO is comprised of 27 critical access and rural hospitals, 55 plus rural health clinics and more than 500 medical providers reaching across 50 percent of rural Illinois counties.  IRCCO has participated as an Accountable Care Organization since 2015. In addition, IRCCO has participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Programs since 2017 covering 45,000 ACO Medicare beneficiaries and 43,000 Illinois commercial payer lives. IRCCO is member-owned and operated.

About Collaborative Health Systems
Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is a management services organization that partners with independent primary care physicians as they move to value-based models. Its core belief is that primary care physicians are in the best position to influence the quality and cost of healthcare. CHS provides comprehensive support for its physician partners by providing management services, risk contracting, and population health capabilities, including actionable data and other tools, to deliver care coordination and closure of gaps in care. CHS provides additional services to secure and deliver favorable value-based contracts with commercial and other health plans. CHS manages two Next Generation ACOs, one Direct Contracting entity, eight MSSP ACOs, a Care Transformation Organization, and three Independent Practice Associations. CHS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation. For more information, visit