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Accountable care organizations have potential to curb costs and improve health care
Date:4/13/2011

models, and implementing new payment models that reward better care. We have seen the potential they have to improve quality and lower costs," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "The Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity to replicate what we know is working in accountable care, and to give patients what they want and needwell-coordinated, high-quality, affordable health care."

Commission Recommendations

The Commission's recommendations focus on core strategies to ensure successful implementation and spread of ACOs that are accountable for care, outcome, and costs:

  • Strong Primary Care Foundation: ACOs should build on the concept of the patient-centered medical home, to ensure access to a regular source of care, and coordination across providers and settings.
  • Accountability for Quality of Care, Patient Care Experiences, Outcomes, and Total Costs: ACOs should be required to report on and be held accountable for quality, patient care experiences, outcomes, and total costs, with any savings distributed based on their performance.
  • Informed and Engaged Patients: ACOs should notify patients that their providers are part of an organization that is being held accountable for high performance and engage them and families as partners to ensure the best care and outcomes.
  • Commitment to Serving the Community: CMS should make an explicit commitment to serving their community, including low-income and uninsured patients, an integral part of qualifying as an ACO.
  • Criteria for Entry and Continued Participation that Emphasize Accountability and Performance: CMS should establish minimum entry criteria for ACOs that include availability of primary care, access to needed services, and the ability to provide meaningful evidence of quality and cost performance. Continued participation should be contingent on accountability and performance, rather than structural characteristics.
  • Multi-Payer A
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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