106 Accountable Care Organizations Receive Federal Approval
Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave its approval to 106 new accountable care organizations (ACOs), a new type of health provider group that was created as part of the 2010 health reform law. According to an article by Sam Baker of The Hill, ACOs aim to improve quality of care and outcomes while reducing costs.
ACOs – and the physicians who belong to them – are motivated to cut costs by receiving a set percentage of the savings they bring to Medicare, instead of being paid for every appointment and treatment, according to an article by John Dorschner of the Miami Herald. And if the care is high-quality the first time around, patients are less likely to need additional care, thereby saving the ACO time and allowing them to see more patients.
ACOs, which include physicians with a variety of specialties as well as outside entities like pharmacies, aim to coordinate a given patient’s care within the organization. One pilot program, writes Mr. Dorschner, found that ACOs’ structure and incentive-based payments can reduce hospital readmissions by as much as 40%.
Readers, do you plan to seek healthcare from an ACO in your area?