Examining the Early Effects of Accountable Care Organizations on Primary Care for Vulnerable Patients


With Commonwealth Fund support, Dartmouth’s Valerie Lewis has explored the early development of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in low-income and minority communities and the efforts of ACO providers to improve care coordination and health outcomes for these populations. The Lewis team will now evaluate the performance of ACOs serving significant numbers of low-income Medicare patients and identify organizational characteristics and initiatives that have had a positive impact. Based on medical claims and a recent national survey of ACOs, the researchers will identify organizations that have improved patient outcomes known to be linked to the quality of primary care. They will then interview executives and providers at 15 to 20 high-performing safety-net ACOs to understand how strategies to improve primary care for vulnerable populations are conceived and operationalized. Findings will inform policymakers and health system leaders as they seek to improve care for poor and minority populations.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Trustees of Dartmouth College
Principal Investigator:
Valerie Lewis, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
April 14, 2015

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