What are ACO’s?
What are they doing and how do they affect the future of healthcare in America?
ACO stands for Accountable Care Organization. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services defines ACO’s in this way: "ACO’s are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients.”
These ACO’s would help bear the financial burden, along with the government and private healthcare insurers. ACO’s are based on a quality of care model rather than the traditional quantity of care used today. The quantity of care model would not go away fully, but would rather award bonuses when providers maintain low costs.
You can rest assured this new method, along with any new method, has received its fair share of pushback.
An immediate thought is that the quality of care would diminish. If my provider is close to the financial cutoff of breaking even, they may not run necessary tests to keep their bonuses. Well then the quality of care would go down and their reimbursement would be less that way, right? Not if you never knew about the significance of a possible test, or that their financial model is constructed this way.
“ACOs were compared to the elusive unicorn: everyone seemed to know what it looks like, but no one had actually seen one,” writes Jenny Gold with Kaiser Health News. “Nonetheless, the health care industry embarked on a frenzied quest to create them as quickly as possible.”
This provision takes up only seven pages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as it was signed into law.
The premise behind ACO’s is to find many separate entities and bundle them into one ACO, thus lowering the cost.
Harold Miller, president and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement describes them as such “A TV manufacturer like Sony may contract with many suppliers to build sets. Like Sony does for TVs, an ACO would bring together the different component parts of care for the patient – primary care, specialists, hospitals, home health care, etc. – and ensure that all of the ‘parts work well together.’”
If you were to use this description of an ACO in a literal sense, you could say Expeditor Systems would qualify as its own ACO. We have many separate parts that work harmoniously to form one large entity. The sole purpose of our ACO is to enhance your practice while improving your bottom line, much the way other ACO’s improve health care while lowering costs.
Customized panels throughout your facility work with monitor panels, desktop stations, and dome lights to ensure all the ‘parts of your practice work well together.’
Since ACO’s still have yet to prove themselves work with someone that has been proving it to over 8,000 customers, Expeditor Systems.