Healthcare Business News

ACOs no guarantee of lower costs: report

By Rebecca Vesely
Posted: October 26, 2010 - 7:00 am ET

Altering payment mechanisms and care delivery structures aren't enough to achieve a successful accountable care organization, according to a new report examining ACO experiences in California (PDF).

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The report, by the Oakland, Calif.-based Integrated Healthcare Association, a well-respected quality and affordability improvement group, identified five key features of the California experience with ACOs. These are organizational structure, payment methods, health plan relations, availability of consumer choice and public policy and regulation.

“Underlying organizational values, alignment of financial incentives, a willingness to be held accountable for quality and efficiency, as well as sensitivity to consumer choice are critical issues that require careful attention,” Bart Asner, CEO of Monarch HealthCare in Orange County, Calif., and IHA board chairman, said in a statement.

ACOs are not a panacea for healthcare spending control, according to the report, noting that some large providers have gained market share under this structure and raised prices.



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