Illinois health providers join venture to improve healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries

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

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, Illinois.

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.

Through the new joint venture, 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

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