Accountable Care Organizations or ACOs are a hot topic in health care, but what are they, how do they work and what is their value for patients and families? The National Partnership for Women & Families, in collaboration with Leavitt Partners and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, answers these and other questions in a brief released this week.
The Impact of Accountable Care: How Accountable Care Impacts the Way Consumers Receive Care is one of six briefs detailing how ACOs affect key stakeholders, and the benefits and challenges associated with this new model of care. Leavitt Partners produced the new series, partnering with a different organization for each brief. The National Partnership co-created the consumer brief, which discusses how ACOs — groups of physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that join together to improve the quality of care for their patients — can support consumers in obtaining the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The consumer brief details how ACOs can support a better experience for patients and families, better health outcomes and reduced costs through improved care coordination, maximized use of health information technology, and patient and family engagement. The authors explain the similarities and differences of ACO models across Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance markets. Finally, the brief includes high-level recommendations for effectively implementing ACOs, including prioritizing meaningful patient and family engagement.
“ACOs have the potential to transform how care is delivered and paid for so patients receive higher quality, patient- and family-centered, timely, well-coordinated care,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “But they will only achieve their potential if health care systems and providers partner with patients in meaningful ways and ensure that patients and families are genuine co-creators not only of their own health, but of the health care delivery system.”
The consumer brief can be found at http://www.NationalPartnership.org/issues/health/impact-of-accountable-care.html. The full set of six briefs on the impact of accountable care can be found at http://leavittpartners.com/impact-of-accountable-care/.