In 2009 President Obama stated that Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) were going to be pilot programs in real world settings. The goal was to see if they effective in reducing costs and increasing “quality of care.” The results of the pilot programs have not been published.
Last week despite the lack of proof of concept HHS and CMS announced new proposed regulations for ACOs.
The new delivery and payment model the agency estimates could serve up to 5 million Medicare beneficiaries through participating providers, and also potentially save the Medicare program as much as $960 million over three years.
How were these estimates derived? It could be another accounting trick by President Obama’s administration.
The idea of coordinating care and developing systems of care is a great idea theoretically. From a practical standpoint, execution is very difficult.
I tried to execute something similar in 1996 with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists; a national Independent Practice Association. AACECare received little cooperation or interest from Clinical Endocrinologists.
The problem is coordinated medical care is dependent on physicians cooperating and not competing with each other. It also depends on hospital systems developing an equitable partnership with physicians.
The equitable partnerships between hospital systems and physicians are difficult to achieve if past results are any indication of future results. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Repairing the Healthcare System*