Accountable Care Organizations 

Last Updated on 04/03/2023 by Sophia

Define ACOs and discuss their impact on the contemporary health care system. How do ACOs drive cost-effectiveness, innovation, and collaboration in the delivery of health care?

 

Answer

Accountable Care Organizations 

Accountable care organizations or ACOs are groups of doctors and other healthcare providers who come together voluntarily to give high-quality care to Medicare patients (CMS, 2020). The main goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients get high-quality care efficiently, especially for chronically ill patients. Coordinated care helps evade duplication of service and medical error. 

One of the main ways that the Affordable care act intends to reduce the cost of healthcare is by encouraging doctors, and other stakeholders in the health care services sector are the formation coordinated patient care, which would allow them to deliver their services more efficiently, making them eligible for bonuses (CMS, 2020). This carrot-and-stick approach was used in the formation of the ACOs within the Medicare program. Health care providers earn more if they keep their patients healthy. A combination of efficiency and prevention of duplication of services will make sure that the healthcare budget is spent more wisely (Gold, 2016).

The benefits of ACOs have attracted many private and governmental healthcare organizations bringing collaboration in delivering healthcare services. As a result, by 2015, more than 6 million Medicare beneficiaries were under ACO. More than 774 public and private healthcare organizations joined ACOs from 2011 to 2015 (CMS, 2020). With this influence, more than 20 million Americans have received high-quality services under ACOs, many without their knowledge.  The more organizations that join ACOs, the more information that is shared, and this not only enhances the efficiency of care but also improves the quality of care as healthcare professionals consult more easily and are more ready to share beneficial information to reduce the cost even more (Gold, 2016). If ACOs work on the more you save, the more you earn approach; this is likely to make healthcare providers more innovative to reduce the cost of medication even further. 

 

References

CMS. (2020, February 11). Accountable care organizations (ACOs)https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ACO

Gold, J. (2016, July 13). Accountable care organizations explained. Kaiser Health News. https://khn.org/news/aco-accountable-care-organization-faq/