Evolution of Care Delivery – Accountable Care Organizations and Preparing for Implementation

Physician practices, hospitals, and payer organizations have worked together to advance a new healthcare service model to improve quality, efficiency and cost of care. This article describes some of the currently known requirements for establishing this new model called the accountable care organization (ACO) under the forthcoming Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ACO program. Potential benefits from implementation are discussed along with challenges that include: management of the ACO, technology infrastructure (electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE)), equitable distribution of savings, maintaining patient volumes, and financing of care.



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