Accountable Care News
Health Affairs Commentary: ACOs 'Too Important to Fail'
Health Affairs recently released a timely analysis on the importance of ACOs written by Francis J. Crosson, MD, chair of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices and senior fellow at Kaiser Institute of Health Policy.
In "The Accountable Care Organization: Whatever Its Growing Pains, The Concept Is Too Vitally Important to Fail," Crosson writes: "The accountable care organization model is intended as an option both for Medicare and for non-Medicare, commercial health care services. However, the general model and the specific shared savings model proposed for Medicare have come under criticism. Much of the criticism is valid and should be addressed. However, none should serve to prevent the evolution of this model, because the alternative . . . is likely to be a type of indiscriminate cost cutting that will leave the nation with a damaged health care system, reduced access to care services, and declining quality of care."
In this clear, concise commentary, Crosson analyzes and addresses the concerns of many in the health care industry about the Medicare Shared Savings ACO program, payment incentives, the cost of ACO restructuring, the role of health plans, hospitals and partnerships with physicians, and the acceptance by patients of the ACO concept. His analysis concludes with this admonition: "It is important to look past issues of accountable care organization structure and payment design, and even to try to ignore current political disagreements about the Affordable Care Act. We must ask a bigger question: What happens next if the accountable care organization idea fails? What lies 'behind that door'?"
Read the full commentary at http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/30/7/1250?ijkey=hVh/BqpDn6mkY&keytype=ref&siteid=healthaff