Reforming Health Care Payment: Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Promise and Issues

To: Members and Supporters:

Iowa will soon have a new form of managed care or HMOs. The new Federal health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA), contains many policies for delivery system reform. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is one of many policies for reforming payment. Under ACO's providers are held accountable for total spending and quality of care for a defined population. ACOs would consist of primary care physicians, specialists, and at least one hospital.

ACOs "Done Right" have promise for improved quality and affordability. The attached identifies four big issues:

  • Are ACOs delivering on their fullest potential?
  • Beware of emerging cartels
  • Alignment between public and private sectors
  • Patient-centered provisions are in place

Transparency and full public disclosure are essential for the success of ACOs to serve in the best interest of patients, consumers, and purchasers.

Lansky ACO Intro 5-25-10