A Study on Accountable Care Organizations

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Accountable Care Organizations Introduction Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are group of physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers coming together voluntarily to deliver high quality healthcare to patients. On the other hand, American Hospital Association (2010) defines ACO as legally structured arrangements between hospitals, specialty physicians and/or primary care and other healthcare providers to facilitate effective and efficient healthcare for a defined patient population. Typically, ACO focuses on assisting patients with chronic disease to get right care at the right time with overall goals of preventing medical errors and unnecessary duplication of healthcare services. More importantly, ACO focuses on delivering high quality healthcare at low costs. The Health and Human Service (HHS) estimates that ACO could assist Medicare to save more than $960 Million in the first three years, which will assist Medicare to spend healthcare dollars more wisely. (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.2012). The envisaged benefits that ACO intends to deliver have made the ACO model to capture the industry attention nationwide. However, many hospitals are still considering their current state of readiness for ACO. On the other hand, some healthcare organizations are moving towards taking early steps of meeting the laid down requirements of CMS's (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service's). While ACO model is still a work-in-progress, the goal of the
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