New Commission Report: Accountable Care Organizations Have Potential to Curb Costs and Improve Care

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<p>If implemented successfully, accountable care organizations (ACOs) will have the ability to achieve better care, better population health, and lower costs, according to a <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2011/apr/high-performance-accountable-care-building-success-and-learning">new report</a> released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.</p>
<p>A key provision of the Affordable Care Act is the establishment of the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which provides incentives for improved quality and efficiency to ACOs, comprised of a group or groups of providers who are willing to take broad responsibility for the quality, experience, and costs of care for their patients. The Commission report, <em>High Performance Accountable Care: Building on Success and Learning from Experience</em>, includes 10 recommendations to help ensure the success and spread of ACOs, such as a strong primary care foundation and informed and engaged patients.</p>
<p>An accompanying <a href="/publications/publication/2011/apr/perspectives-health-reform-achieving-accountable-care-are-we">Commonwealth Fund perspective</a> by the Fund's Mark A. Zezza and Stuart Guterman contains an analysis of how the proposed rules for the new Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) align with these recommendations. (A condensed version is available on <a href="/blog/2011/what-are-characteristics-successful-shared-savings-program">The Commonwealth Fund Blog</a>.)</p>
<p>"The Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity to replicate what we know is working in accountable care, and to give patients what they want and need—well-coordinated, high-quality, affordable health care," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.</p>