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Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC - Analyst Report), one of the major healthcare services companies in the U.S., recently inked a collaborative Accountable Care deal with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield company of Florida, named Florida Blue. This initiative is in sync with the company’s agenda to provide high-quality care to medical members at an affordable price.

Per Tenet Healthcare’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) agreement, Florida Blue’s approximately 10,000 commercial members in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will be able to establish an in-network access to the former’s ACO – the Advantage Health Network (AHN). The AHN, an integrated delivery system, is an alliance between more than 900 physicians in the aforementioned counties and Tenet Healthcare’s Florida hospitals. These hospitals comprise 10 acute care hospitals and 36 outpatient centers of Tenet Healthcare in South Florida.

Tenet Healthcare had formed AHN to improve the quality of patient care by providing proper physician coordination. The signing of the new ACO agreement with Florida Blue reflects Tenet Healthcare’s intention to improve patient care further through reduced readmissions, ER visits and pointless duplication of services. Moreover, this agreement will allow Florida Blue to set up quality and value-based care delivery models in the state.
Other healthcare stocks that have formed ACOs in recent times include Humana Inc. (HUM - Analyst Report) and Aetna Inc. (AET - Analyst Report). While Aetna formed an ACO with Northeast Medical Group, Inc. (“NEMG”) in Connecticut on May 1, Humana formed an Accountable Care relation with Mercy in Apr 2014.  These ACOs or collaborative accountable cares are a means of working toward improving the health of all Americans, in consistence with President Obama’s policies.

Currently, Tenet Healthcare has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, among the better-ranked stocks in the healthcare services space, Aetna and Horace Mann Educators Corp. (HMN - Snapshot Report) are worth considering. While Horace Mann sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Aetna has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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