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


  • Goodbye Healthcare Technology Online, Hello Health IT Outcomes

    In January 2014, we’re changing our name and brand to Health IT Outcomes. Here’s the story behind the name change and what you can expect from us going forward.

  • Does ICD-10 Pilot Forecast A Perfect Storm For Healthcare?

    Let me concede from the outset that, in this blog post, I lean toward the negative—dire predictions, worst-case scenarios, a bit of doom and gloom, etc. But I ask you, oh gentle, patient reader, how could I not? Let’s go to the satellite. You can see warm air from a low-pressure system (Meaningful Use Stage 2, not changed dramatically by the one-year extension) collide with cool, dry air from a high-pressure area (the turmoil of Obamacare) and tropical hurricane moisture (ICD-10). Tell me you don’t see the Perfect Storm yourself. And here we sit in our little fishing boat, waiting for the mighty ocean to consume us. Overly dramatic? Certainly, but still not wholly inappropriate, I will argue. By Edmund Billings, MD

  • ACO Created To Manage Healthcare Costs

    New Illinois ACO aims to realign focus to value of service with emphasis on improving health outcomes. By Wendy Grafius, contributing writer


  • What You Need To Know In Replacing An EHR

    This independent mixed case study and white paper performed at the request of Greenway Medical Technologies provides an independent in-depth analysis of how Greenway’s services, solutions, and technology are helping medical practices undergo EMR-to-EHR conversions.

  • The Promise Of Mobile Technology

    Unlike information technology preceding it, mobile technology’s adoption in healthcare has been rapid and broad. According to CompTIA, 81 percent of U.S. physicians use a smartphone in their work environment.

  • ACO Represents A Business Shift For Most Hospitals And Physicians

    This white paper examines how the ACO (Accountable Care Organization) model can impact both hospitals and physicians, and highlights several specific points providers should consider and understand.

  • Using mHealth To Work Smarter
    A widely used term in the rapidly changing world of mobile technologies for healthcare is mHealth.


  • 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.