Palliative Care and ACOs: A Perfect Fit

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Accountable care organizations were created under the Affordable Care Act to improve healthcare delivery to a defined population. As writers in the new issue of Evidence-Based Oncology discuss, while palliative care exists to raise the quality of life for the seriously ill, it can also speak to the value equation of delivering care that patients want at a lower cost.

Palliative Care and ACOs: A Perfect FitFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015

Palliative care and accountable care organizations (ACOs) both have the mission of improving healthcare delivery for the benefit of patients—and both save money. A discussion of how palliative care fits into the value equation of ACOs appears in the current issue of Evidence-Based Oncology, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care.

The authors, Amy S. Kelley, MD, MSHS, and Diane E. Meier, MD, are both at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, N.Y., where Kelley is an assistant professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine and Meier is a professor of the same.


Their essay, “The Role of Palliative Care in Accountable Care Organizations,” outlines how palliative care’s time has come, as the healthcare system seeks answers that are patient-centered and address the fact that 5% of the patients account for 60% of the costs. ACOs, meanwhile, are charged with finding more efficient, less costly ways to delivery care while making patients healthier and more satisfied.

“While quality, the numerator in the value equation, is clearly of greatest priority, the importance of palliative care’s impact on costs cannot be ignored,” they write.

Drs. Kelley and Meier discuss why palliative care makes sense for ACOs and outline characteristics of successful programs. As the authors discuss, a key component of palliative care is the role of families, and evidence shows its use improves their lives as well. A case study from San Diego, California, is presented in the paper.

About the Journals

The American Journal of Managed Care celebrates its 20th year in 2015 as the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. Other titles in the franchise include The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, which provides pharmacy and formulary decision-makers with information to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care, and The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary on innovative healthcare delivery models facilitated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s Evidence-Based series brings together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in oncology and diabetes management. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin (609) 716-7777 x 131