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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Healthcare Reform - What is an ACO (Accountable Care Organization)?

Overview of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations) and Healthcare Reform

Beginning in 2012, the Healthcare Reform's Affordable Care Act is requiring Medicare to use Accountable CareHealth Reform Accountable Care Organizations Organizations (ACOs) in an attempt to slow the rise of health care costs.  So, what's an ACO?

An ACO is a vehicle for paying teams of health care providers to care for patients, instead of paying for care one service at a time.  An ACO limits health care providers’ financial relationships with other providers.

Proponents of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations)

Proponents of ACOs argue that the programs provide:

  • Personalized care management and support
  • Technology that connects doctors with patient information and medical evidence
  • Financial incentives that reward doctors who work hard to provide good care for patients with chronic conditions and doctors whose patients’ health improves

Opponents of ACOs (Accountable Care Organizations)

Opponents of ACOs argue that the programs provide:

  • People may not know their doctor or hospital is part of an ACO
  • The Government incentivizing health care treatment may be not best for the patient
  • Potential for patients to be denied treatments because of cost considerations

What do you think?

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