Healthcare Business News

Leadership, clear goals, performance rewards key to successful ACOs, Commonwealth Fund report says

By Rebecca Vesely
Posted: April 14, 2011 - 12:01 am ET

Accountable care organizations have the potential to improve health outcomes and lower costs, but success requires leadership, clear goals and a strong connection between performance and payments, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund.

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A 17-member commission of leading healthcare executives and experts came up with 10 recommendations on how to achieve success with ACOs. A strong primary-care model, informed and engaged patients, multipayer alignment and innovative payment models that reward high performance were among the recommendations in the 58-page report.

The proposed rule (PDF) on ACOs released by the CMS on March 31 is a good first step, Commonwealth Fund researchers said.

“But, in order to achieve the level of success we need, the rules and the implementation process need to enable both the CMS and healthcare providers to operate differently than has been the case in the past,” said Stuart Guterman, vice president for payment and system reform for the Commonwealth Fund.

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