Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have been around for more than a decade—created with the idea that integrating care providers across settings (hospitals, primary care, specialty care, etc.) and aligning their financial incentives would lead to improved clinical outcomes and lower healthcare costs.
And indeed, some of the most effective and efficient healthcare organizations in the country are ACOs. These organizations have successfully improved preventive and acute care, eliminated wasteful services, avoided unnecessary hospitalizations and reinvested the costs savings into programs that make patients even healthier.
But their success raises an obvious question: Why hasn’t every doctor and hospital moved toward the ACO model?