Study: Performance of Physician Practices in Early ACOs Was “Modest”


While accountable care organizations, or ACOs, are designed to contain health care costs and address inconsistency in health care quality, the evidence so far shows they’ve achieved only limited success in meeting these goals.

In the new issue of the American Journal of Managed Care, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers led by Stephen M. Shortell, M.D., of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health report that physician practices opting to join Medicare ACO programs in 2012 had greater capabilities to manage risk and succeed under a value-based payment model than practices that did not. Still, no more than half of these early ACO participants implemented recommended care management systems, health information technology functionality, and quality improvement processes.

With new Medicare payment models launching, the authors say physician practices may require “catch-up policies and practices,” including technical assistance programs. Practices also may need to consolidate or pursue partnerships with organizations that provide management and infrastructure support.

shortell_aco_1x1 Read more Study: Performance of Physician Practices in Early ACOs Was “Modest”