Consumer-driven demands on healthcare coupled with the economic and political realities are resulting in a new definition of how best to provide healthcare in the United States. We also need to understand that there are multiple consumers to consider and that new delivery models are needed that can address the respective expectations and needs of these groups.
The complexity of the problems facing healthcare systems in meeting these evolving demands is a daunting challenge even for the most sophisticated and well-run organizations. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or similar organizational risk-sharing relationships are rapidly emerging as a preferred approach for garnering the support of patients, providers and payers for optimizing care. For ACOs to be completely effective, the depth of preparation and fully understanding the complexities surrounding the diversity of care that ACOs need to address must be understood and incorporated into the organization’s fabric for it to succeed.