In ACO Era, Physicians Will Still Play a Leading-But Changing-Role

More than 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Significantly increasing access to care, the 4-year-old healthcare reform law also creates incentives for providers to reorganize the delivery of healthcare.

More than 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Significantly increasing access to care, the 4-year-old healthcare reform law also creates incentives for providers to reorganize the delivery of healthcare.

The ACA has promoted the growth of accountable care organizations. Where successful, ACOs have the potential to bend the cost curve and improve quality. They are taking many forms, with some led by large multispecialty group practices and others by vertically integrated hospital systems with cadres of employed physicians.

Physicians will always remain central to patient care. Yet the ACA challenges the traditionally, if not fiercely, independent practice of medicine. The 21st-century physician is increasingly employed by a large provider organization with accountability to management, subject to standardized treatment protocols and required to interact with complex electronic health records.

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Source: Modern Healthcare