Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


Accountable Care Organizations: Measurement Will Be Key to Their Success

The Affordable Care Act encourages the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs), with the hope that they will help providers work together more effectively to improve health care quality and slow spending growth. In a new Commonwealth Fund–supported commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, two leading proponents of ACOs contend that rigorous performance measurement and evaluation will be critical to the success of these organizations.

In the commentary, Elliot S. Fisher, M.D., and Stephen M. Shortell, Ph.D., argue that performance measures in health care are too narrowly focused on individual clinicians, rather than the systems of care in which they operate. An integral part of implementing ACOs, they say, will be measuring processes and outcomes across the care continuum to support improvement and accountability and reduce the administrative burden associated with performance measurement.

The authors propose different measurement approaches, as well as a common framework for evaluating the range of delivery and payment reform initiatives in the Affordable Care Act to help determine which ACO characteristics are critical to their success.

Publication Details