While ACO Care Coordination Holds Promise for Improving Quality and Lowering Healthcare Costs, It’s Still a ‘Work in Progress’

Healthcare Experts Now Exploring New Care Coordination Strategies and Overcoming Gaps in Measuring Performance

For many healthcare professionals, the jury is still out as to whether accountable care organizations (ACOs) will prove effective at delivering the two important goals of improved patient outcomes at a lower overall cost of care over an extended period of time.

That is why close attention is being given to the experience of Medicare’s Pioneer ACOs, since they were among the first ACOs to begin delivering clinical services. In particular, physicians and hospital administrators want to learn useful lessons from the successes and setbacks of the different Pioneer ACOs.

By improving the coordination of care, accountable care organizations are expected to provide patients with better care while reducing healthcare costs. That’s why the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Shared Savings Program is structured to pay ACOs financial incentives or impose penalties, depending on whether performance quality measures and healthcare spending targets are met. (more…)