The Hidden Dangers of Accountable Care Organizations

While I was sitting in a conference room at a large teaching hospital waiting for a noon conference to begin, an attending physician remarked that Accountable Care Organizations would be the future of health care.  He went on to give a brief overview of what they were and how they worked.  All present seemed to nod their heads in understanding and appreciation of the slanted economic insight to health care that they had just garnered.   But if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are established in the Affordable Care Act under a Medicare Shared Savings Program (Sec 3022).  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines ACOs as "groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients."  It further states that "[w]hen an ACO succeeds in both delivering high-quality care and spending...(Read Full Article)

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