Taking a Closer Look at the Early Accountable Care Organizations

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<p>Enthusiasm for accountable care organizations (ACOs) is high among many policymakers and health industry leaders seeking ways to provide better care at lower cost to more patients. As ACOs take hold, it will be critically important to track their performance over time and ensure that patients from all backgrounds can benefit from these new models. </p><p>In a new <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/jan/analysis-early-accountable-care-organizations-defines-patient">Commonwealth Fund–supported study</a> in <em>Health Affairs,</em> researchers report baseline information collected on patient populations, quality, participating hospitals, and costs for those organizations participating in Medicare's ACO programs as of fall 2012. Among their findings: patients enrolled in ACOs were more likely than nonenrolled patients to have higher incomes, and more likely to be older than 80. ACO patients were less likely than non-ACO patients to be black, covered by Medicaid, or disabled. Slightly fewer than half of the ACOs had a participating hospital, but there was also little observed difference in quality of care between hospitals that were part of an ACO and hospitals that were not. <br />
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Read more findings from this important ongoing study on <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/jan/analysis-early-accountable-care-organizations-defines-patient">commonwealthfund.org</a>. <br />
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