The ACO Resource Room

April 19th, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its proposed regulations (press release) for accountable care organizations (ACOs). Subsequently, the Commonwealth Fund has unveiled a new webpage for publications and blog posts on ACOs, such as On the Road to Better Value: State Roles in Promoting Accountable Care Organizations and a summary of a New England Journal of Medicine commentary,“Accountable Care Organizations: Accountable for What, to Whom, and How?”

Elliott Fisher, MD, MPH, of Dartmouth, announced the release of a new report “Better to Best, Value-Driving Elements of the Patient Centered Medical Home and Accountable Care Organizations” at the March 30, 2011 PCPCC meeting in Washington. The report outlines the importance of access and care coordination as functions and use of health information technology and payment reform as tools needed in both patient centered medical home and new accountable care models.

Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, are one of the “big bets” in health care reform, as a possible care delivery model to improve quality and help control costs. However, what an ACO actually is, and how it operates remains to be defined. As consumers, providers and purchasers wait anxiously for CMS to release the rules that will help share these organizations, PBGH has released an issue brief that outlines what purchasers should expect — and what policymakers should require — from ACOs to help guarantee they deliver what they promise. A copy of the Issue Brief, Raising the Bar, is available at: http://www.pbgh.org/news-and-publications/pbgh-articles-a-publications

New Report: Accountable Care Organizations Have Potential to Curb Costs and  Improve Care
If implemented successfully, accountable care organizations (ACOs) will have the ability to achieve better care, better population health, and lower costs, according to a new report released last week by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System.