Drs Barnett and McWilliams Discuss Whether Specialty Care Leakage Matters for ACOs

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are incentivized to reduce spending and improve quality of care. One way they have tried to achieve these goals is by establishing control over a patient’s full continuum of care by minimizing the care patients receive from other providers outside of the ACO, including specialists.

Michael Barnett, MD, and J. Michael McWilliams, MD, PhD, have a paper in the May issue of The American Journal of Managed Care® on leakage of specialty care among ACOs and the changes in specialty care leakage and use associated with the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

Barnett is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. McWilliams is the Warren Alpert Foundation Professor of Health Care Policy and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. They are both internists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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