The Iowa Clinic and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced they will launch an accountable care organization. The organization will focus on coordinating patient care to slow health care cost increases while improving the quality of care. Wellmark will pay Iowa Clinic physicians financial rewards if they reach established quality goals and slow the rate of increase in health care spending for certain groups of patients, but won't pay an incentive if quality declines or their costs run higher than expected. Iowa Clinic patients will continue to be treated by their current physician and automatically receive the benefits of the ACO program at no additional cost, the organizations said in a release. Patients most likely to see the immediate benefits are those who need help managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Wellmark is now part of eight ACOs in Iowa that cover an estimated 254,000 patients, spokeswoman Traci McBee said.