Learning from Early Adopters of the Accountable Care Model

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<p>Although they haven’t been around very long, accountable care organizations have already made strides in reorganizing how health care is organized, delivered, and paid for. Based on interviews with hospital and physician group leaders, a new <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2013/mar/early-adopters-accountable-care-model-field-report-improvements">Commonwealth Fund field report</a> describes the changes pursued by early adopters of the model, the challenges they face, and their expectations for the future. </p><p>While the specifics vary, accountable care organizations, or ACOs, are designed to incentivize health care providers to improve health outcomes while reducing overall costs. More than 250 ACOs have contracted with Medicare to provide care to more than 4 million beneficiaries, though the total number of ACOs in the private and public sectors is more difficult to estimate. </p>
<p>In the report, authors Sharon Silow-Carroll and Jennifer Edwards focus on the experiences of seven hospital-physician organizations that have teamed up with public and private payers to share in the risks and rewards of assuming responsibility for the quality and total costs of their patients’ care. ACO leaders, they found, are relying on physicians to design clinical standards, quality measures, and financial incentives. They’re also promoting team-based care and offering care management and quality improvement tools to help providers identify and manage high-risk patients. </p>
<p>Read more about this major shift in health care delivery by visiting <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2013/mar/early-adopters-accountable-care-model-field-report-improvements">commonwealthfund.org</a>.</p>