Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have great potential to improve the health care received by low-income, uninsured, and underserved populations, but only if safety-net providers and their patients are included in these new organizations. This project will evaluate the extent to which safety-net health care providers are participating in ACOs, whether ACOs are improving the integration of safety-net systems, and how ACOs are incorporating behavioral health and community-based services in their models to better meet the needs of vulnerable individuals. Data for the study will come from the Commonwealth Fund–sponsored National Survey of Accountable Care Organizations and from interviews with ACO leaders and service providers. The study will complement Fund–supported work being conducted by the lead investigator to assess the extent and consequences of ACO proliferation in disadvantaged communities.
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