America's Accountable Care Organizations
The Affordable Care Act (commonly known as the health reform law) encourages the formation of “medical homes” and “accountable care organizations” (ACOs), in the belief that they will improve health care quality and slow the growth of health care spending in America. By organizing health care teams, technology and knowledge around patient needs, Accountable Care can help the system realize its full potential. This site provides information about the development of these health care delivery models and addresses the most pressing policy issues surrounding this model of care.
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What the Experts Say
Thought leaders share their thoughts on Accountable Care.
Q: The new health reform law–The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–supports the evolution of accountable care organizations (ACOs) as key to containing health care costs. Do you agree with this assessment?
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"Our healthcare system is fragmented, with a misalignment of incentives, or lack of coordination, that s ...
"Our healthcare system is fragmented, with a misalignment of incentives, or lack of coordination, that spawns inefficient allocation of resources. Fragmentation adversely impacts quality, cost, and outcomes. Eliminating waste from unnecessary, unsafe care is crucial for improving quality and reducing costs--and making the system financially sustainable. Many believe this can be achieved through greater integration of healthcare delivery, more specifically via integrated delivery systems. . . ."
"Integrated Delivery Systems: The Cure for Fragmentation," www.ajmc.com, December 2009
What is an ACO?
Different experts have different perspectives. But generally, an ACO can be defined as a set of healthcare providers — including primary care physicians, specialists, and hospitals — that work together collaboratively and accept collective accountability for the cost and quality of care delivered to a population of patients.