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Continued Growth and Popularity of Accountable Care Organizations

Posted 4:00 AM by

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Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) began formation in 2012 as part of the Affordable Care Act. An analysis conducted in May of this year reports that more than 600 ACOs now exist in the United States today.

Even with their growing popularity, many providers are remaining cautious due to the significant investments that need to be made to develop the structure required for an ACO.  Key areas to consider in order to create the necessary environment for an ACO include information technology, clinical leadership and collaboration between hospitals and physicians.

The longevity of the ACO model is a hot topic of debate. Are they here for the long run or merely a bridge to a more efficient healthcare system?  Even if ACOs are just a stepping stone to something greater, there are many benefits and improvements taking place within these organizations. ACOs are required to meet specific quality benchmarks and governmental spending. Additionally, costs for both patients and providers would be reduced in the ACO model.

Healthcare provider focus is shifting away from the mindset of recommending more tests and procedures than necessary to drive up costs to now focusing on prevention and wellness while attempting to improve the overall health of patients. Providers within or affiliated in some aspect with an ACO have more to gain from keeping their patients healthy.

Sources: Kaiser Health News, The Health Care Blog

About the Author
Nikki Halteman is a member of Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Healthcare Resources Group. Nikki has experience in business and personal tax planning and compliance as well as financial statement compilation and analysis. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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