Accountable Care Organizations: Looking for Answers to an Overspending, Underachieving System

Published Online: December 12, 2013
A. Mark Fendrick, MD & Donovan T. Maust, MD
While the concurrent implementation and ongoing attempts to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ie Obamacare) dominate headlines, 2 independent yet closely related storylines drive the national dialogue. The most prominent is the healthcare providers’ pursuit of the “triple aim,”1 which includes enhancing the care experience, improving population health, and reducing healthcare expenditures. Equally important is the changing face of the healthcare consumer as access to care grows, demographics change, and engagement increases. In this time of contention, there seems to be a growing consensus among stakeholders that the traditional, volume-based, fee-for-service (FFS) care is an untenable strategy to deliver evidence-based care that is both fiscally sustainable and able to meet the clinical needs of Americans. As we look for a solution to an overspending, underachieving system, the concept of  “accountable care” has received much attention as a potential mechanism to better align provider financial incentives with high-quality care.

In light of these national trends and in response to multistakeholder interest, The American Journal of Managed Care is pleased to launch The American Journal of Accountable Care. The content in this inaugural and future issues aims to highlight the opportunities and challenges faced by providers, payers, and patients as delivery systems, payment models, and consumer engagement initiatives are redesigned. Realizing that there is more than enough money in the system, we hope to steer the conversation from how much to how well we spend our healthcare dollars. 

PDF is available on the last page.

Issue: December 2013
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