The American Journal of Accountable Care | December 2013

The American Journal of Accountable Care

As accountable care organizations proliferate across the nation, delivery systems still struggle to balance quality improvement, cost containment, and migration toward accountable care. This paper describes the phased approach where the University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands Teaching Hospital and Clinics, Inc, and Orlando Health have jointly developed a series of clinical and health services that are of the highest quality and are offered at the lowest cost. The result is a regional collaborative that will be the foundation for a regional accountable care organization, first leveraging clinical core competencies, then moving to a more integrated model.
We are in the midst of exchange implementation-the centerpiece of the affordable care act-and it seems a good time to take stock of where we are and need to go. The ACA has validated and spurred on existing efforts. We are making progress on many fronts but fundamental changes are still needed to deliver on the promise of better value.
A young community health improvement collaborative in Trenton, New Jersey, is transforming healthcare for the community, with the community.
Hackensack Alliance ACO integrates pharmacists and adopts new technology as it joins in the bold experiment to lower costs and improve quality under health reform.
ACOs are entering into risk-based deals. Research suggests that many of these deals will have uncertain outcomes, which a new tool might help mitigate.
The US health system has undergone notable transformations over the last 2 decades. Independent community hospitals haveconsolidated horizontally with others to form hospital healthcare systems, with many of the larger ones covering wide-ranging geographies, generating billions of dollars in operating revenues.
There is no question that the number of accountable care organizations in Medicare and total cost of care contracts in the private sector is growing, along with the amount of care provided under these contracts.
The Medicare, Medicaid, and Dual Eligibles programs are on the verge of a significant transition under the Affordable Care Act. Coordinating care and improving population health outcomes will require these federal programs to move away from outdated fee-for-service models to ones that incent better quality and more cost-effective delivery methods. At America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Medicare, Medicaid, and Dual Eligibles conference held on September 23-26 in Washington, DC, the sessions featured discussions that highlighted the role health insurance plans will play as these federal programs continue to evolve under healthcare reform.

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