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


  • Patient Engagement Or Patient Empowerment

    What is the difference and which one will help providers meet Meaningful Use requirements? By Katie Wike, contributing writer

  • EHRs Show Physicians ‘Real’ Cost Of Healthcare

    The author of a recent study on lab costs in EHRs says the team’s real goal was to educate physicians about the relative costs of the procedures they prescribe. By Katie Wike, contributing writer

  • Making An Impact: How Evidence-Based Guidelines Drive Value-Based Success

    By 2020, accountable care organizations (ACOs) are expected to provide care for at least 105 million patients, up from 23 million in December 2015. With ACOs assuming more responsibility for the quality and cost of care, this rapid patient growth is driving the need for new, more intelligent clinical decision support tools at the point of care. These tools can help ACOs deliver consistent, evidence-based care so patients can return to health safely and quickly.


  • Balancing The Scales: Selecting The Right EHR For The Life Of Your Practice And Your Patients

    If we are at or approaching a technological tipping point in the history of healthcare, then it has never been more important for physician practices to select the right electronic health record (EHR) – and there are tangible reasons to believe so.

  • Managing Healthcare Data Within The Ecosystem While Reducing IT Costs And Complexities

    At the 2011 conference, EMC's team of healthcare solution specialists spoke with several vendors and conferees and asked one question: "What is the best way to reduce costs and complexity in a healthcare IT infrastructure?" The overwhelming answer was to enable a cloud environment for patient data and to find a solution for managing so-called "big data."

  • Is The U.S. Ahead Of The Connected Healthcare Curve?

    In the United States, more patients can access their health records online than in many other countries. Does this mean that we are ahead of the connected healthcare curve? This study helps to shed some light on the subject.

  • Accountable Care Organization Technology Framework

    The “accountable care organization” (ACO) is a major topic of discussion in American health policy. While the ACO label has been around since 2006, it was mentioned in numerous healthcare reform bills proposed in 2009 and was ultimately included in Section 3022 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The ACA’s ACO provision covers Medicare ACOs.


  • 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.


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.