Accountable Care Organization, Healthcare Big Data, Healthcare Portal, and ACO Implementation Resources Accountable Care Organization, Healthcare Big Data, Healthcare Portal, and ACO Implementation Resources

FEATURED ARTICLES: ACO

  • ACOs Struggle With Tech Adoption
    ACOs Struggle With Tech Adoption

    A survey from the eHealth Initiative shows ACOs have made little HIT progress in the last year. By Katie Wike, contributing writer

  • Guest Column: Prepare For The New Patient Influx It is already difficult for some of us to find a primary care physician. So how can our country accommodate an influx 32 million newly insured patients under healthcare reform when the system is already overburdened? The fact that only 4% of new doctors choose to become primary care physicians each year suggests the problem will only get worse.
  • Lessons Learned From MSSP

    Medicare ACO execs share experiences, advice regarding MSSP. By Christine Kern, contributing writer

  • Accountable Care: Let The Work Begin Hospitals looking to participate in a formal ACO or to develop an informal coordinated care strategy have their work cut out for them. By Whitney L.J. Howell
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CASE STUDIES & WHITE PAPERS

  • The Benefits Of An Enterprise Imaging Strategy True enterprise imaging allows an electronic image to be accessed by a physician anywhere at any time. This white paper outlines strategies that will allow you to establish an enterprise imaging IT infrastructure, and highlights the benefits of this system to hospitals, physicians, and patients.
  • One Practice’s Journey To Accountable Care This white paper chronicles how New Pueblo Medicine, an independent practice of seven internal medicine physicians based in Arizona, is delivering team-oriented, prevention-focused care with tighter coordination across the continuum of care, while responding to regulatory and compensation pressures and remaining a small independent practice.
  • Get The Most Out Of Going Mobile: Best Practices In mHealth Implementation

    Our population is becoming more mobile on a daily basis, and healthcare professionals are no exception. In fact, the very nature of the healthcare industry makes it ripe for a move to mobile. It also presents special implementation challenges.

  • How Is Clinical Decision Support Technology Driving Successful ACOs?

    The movement to enhance and streamline healthcare through accountable care organizations (ACOs) is well underway in the wake of the issuance of final rules by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2011. Designed as patient-centered initiatives that help doctors, hospitals and other healthcare organizations better coordinate patient care, ACOs are fundamentally structured to incentivize participating healthcare groups for achieving an aggressive set of cost and quality measures built upon improved communication, data sharing and decision making.

More Case Studies & White Papers

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

  • The Problem With Consumerism In Healthcare
    The Problem With Consumerism In Healthcare

    Many industry leaders championed a free market approach to healthcare during the 12th Annual World Health Care Congress last week. Here are a few key reasons why I don’t think this model is “the fix” our industry so desperately needs.

More From The Editor

ABOUT ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS (ACO)

An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) utilizes a payment and care delivery system that bases payments to providers on quality metrics and seeks to reduce the total cost of care for a certain population of patients.  ACOs use a range of payment models and consist of groups of coordinated healthcare providers that provide care to groups of patients. ACOs are accountable to a third-party payer and the group of patients for the appropriateness, quality, and efficiency of the health services they provide.

In 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) set forth initial guidelines for ACOs to be created under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. These guidelines contained all necessary steps required for a physician, health care provider, or hospital to voluntarily participate in ACOs.

The quality measures used to evaluate an ACO's performance as defined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) fall into five domains. These domains are patient/caregiver experience, care coordination, patient safety, preventative health, and at-risk population/frail elderly health.

The three stakeholders in an ACO are the providers, payers, and patients. Providers are a network of hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare professionals. The primary payer is the federal government, Medicare, but also includes other payers such as private insurances or employee-purchased insurance. The patient population of an ACO will primarily consist of Medicare beneficiaries, but in larger ACOs can also include those who are homeless and uninsured.