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HCOs find risks & opportunities in quest for reduced costs & improved quality
Date:8/1/2012

Rochester, MN, August 2, 2012 Many health care systems across the US have declined to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMMS) Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program, developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), to improve efficiency and quality of health care delivery. In a groundbreaking collection of commentaries in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, representatives of six leading health care organizations write about the challenges of reducing health care costs while improving health care quality. They further explain why they did or did not choose to participate in one of the two models now operational at CMMS.

"The US Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides some security for the fates of the Medicare ACO programs and the private sector's parallel initiatives although political rally cries for repeal of the Act continue to be raised in the build-up to the 2012 election," comments David Ballard, MD, MSPH, PhD, Baylor Health Care System, Dallas, TX, Health Care Policy Section Editor for the journal. "Regardless of the ultimate outcome, we should not ignore the current opportunity to learn from these activities and health care organizations' experiences implementing (or not implementing) them. Such study can inform future national and global economic initiatives aimed at lessening health care costs and waste and improving health care value."

The debate over the PPACA has focused primarily on individual coverage, but experts believe that the most critical issue in health care is delivery system reform. "To put it simply, effective access for tens of millions of Americans is at risk not to mention most other public priorities and middle class jobs in a global economy if we fail to improve the efficiency with which high-quality care is delivered," says Len M. Nichols, PhD, of the Center
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Contact: Rachael Zaleski
mcpmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3658
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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