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


  • CMS Proposing Rule To Improve ACOs
    CMS Proposing Rule To Improve ACOs

    New rule reflects focus on primary care and improved incentives for participation, quality, and efficiency. By Christine Kern, contributing writer

  • Majority Of Providers Unhappy With EHRs

    Survey shows 6 of 10 providers were not satisfied with the way EHRs affected daily workflow, citing loss of productivity and poor software design as major complaints 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.
  • Are Community Hospitals Behind The Health IT Curve?

    Not surprisingly, our survey indicates that financial and resource challenges limit the IT investments community hospitals can make. Are these facilities making shortsighted technology decisions as a result?

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  • Physicians Expand Practice Through New EMR

    This case study outlines how one specialty practice used a new EMR, coupled with mobile access, to expand the practice and also recapture more personal, family time.

  • Cost Fears Not Slowing Wireless Growth In Healthcare

    As healthcare organizations develop strategies to comply with federal mandates and succeed in the new environment, wireless is one of the emerging technologies that can enable organizations to meet their clinical and business objectives, especially in this era of having to do more with a finite set of resources.

  • Finding The ROI In Clinical IT Systems

    Beacon Partners conducted this particular study in the summer of 2012 to analyze how hospitals and care delivery organizations are using clinical system performance measures as a way to calculate the return-on-investment (ROI) of electronic medical records (EMRs) systems.

  • UC Health Reduces Transcription Turnaround Time By 66%, Dramatically Reduces Costs

    In 2001, the corporate transcription department of UC Health (formerly Health Alliance) in Cincinnati, Ohio was drowning from an increased volume of medical transcription. In particular, an increase in Emergency Department dictations added to an already heavy workload.

More Case Studies & White Papers


  • 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.

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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.