Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations are networks of healthcare providers who come together to provide improved and much cost-effective health care to patients. The organizations are often developed under the Medicare Shared Savings Program – part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Initially, the organizations were intended to support Medicare participants, but today, they have expanded to include private networks. Generally, accountable care organizations were developed to share information, offer more effective treatment services, and decrease or remove redundancies for patients in the Medicare systems.

ACO has played a crucial role in improving the quality of health care delivery. They are often built around a patient’s primary care physicians and also include specialists, hospitals, and other service providers to ensure optimal efficiency in health care provision. ACOs are established to bring better and effective coordination between primary physicians, specialists, hospitals, and private or public health payers. ACO is expected to reach quality improvement goals and reduce the cost associated with medical services by concentrating on population health management.

In the health care sector, Accountable Care Organizations has the potential of ensuring cost savings or reducing spending in healthcare. New federal regulations and healthcare reforms such as the Affordable Care Act have brought much focus on cutting spending throughout the medical space. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act positioned the development of accountable care organizations. They bring an impact on the quality of health care by reducing the cost of care among the patients. It is important to note that the high cost of health care provision has been a significant impediment to the quality of healthcare. Some people cannot afford to pay for the high cost of care provision. Therefore, reducing the cost of care will ensure that patients who were unable to pay their health care cost bills get necessary treatment. Additionally, ACOs can improve population health management as well as patient outcomes. Accountable Care Organizations provide more innovative approaches for payers and providers to achieve better population health results. For example, Medicaid ACOs have portrayed a significant focus on disease prevention and wellness promotion leading to stronger population health improvements. This reduces the possibility that a disease would progress and the cost of healthcare provision. Health payers experience significant cost savings from the program after initiating cost-based contracts. Healthcare providers are also sure to share in cost savings as well as benefits from a more prosperous population health management approach. ACO developing is changing the US healthcare system. Quality improvements have now become at the forefront of policy interventions.

Annotated Bibliography

Ballard, D. (2012). The Potential of Medicare Accountable Care Organizations to Transform the American Health Care Marketplace: Rhetoric and Reality. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 87, 707-709. Retrieved from

In this article, the discusses the effect of Accountable Care Organizations has had since the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act coupled with the Pioneer ACO Program and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Additionally, the author includes comments from reputable sources on the views of the success of the mechanisms both on a short term and long term basis. The arguments provided in this article presents a comprehensive discussion to acknowledge the concerns and challenges that should be addressed to better persuade the effective implementation of such systems in the future.

US Department of Health & Human Services. (2014). Accountable Care Organization: Improving Care Coordination for People with Medicare. Retrieved on March 3, 2019, from

This article explains the issues found in the current healthcare system like medical errors, hospital readmission, and preventive care. It thus discusses the value of Accountable Care Organizations in improving the quality of care and reducing costs. Further, it describes the launch of adopting ACO and how the system will enhance better performance by concentrating on caregiver/patient experience of care, patient safety, coordination of care, preventive health on high-risk populations, and how the system will be implemented. I believe that this article will provide detailed information that would help me write my final paper on Accountable Care Organizations.

Gold, J. (2015) Accountable Care Organizations, Explained. Kaiser Health News.

Gold, in this article, tries to explain the meaning of accountable care organizations and the purpose of their creation. It also describes the benefits of the health model and their intentions to see cost reduction by engaging hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers to create networks aimed at coordinating patient care. Those who efficiently deliver healthcare are given bonuses. This article is relevant because it will help me build a strong paper regarding the formation and benefits of accountable care organizations.

Berwick, D. (2012). ACOs-Promise, Not Panacea. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 308, 1038-1039. Retrieved from

This article stipulates that ACO systems are excellent plans for the plans of healthcare delivery. But despite the attempts to implement the system, it describes the failures of the system. It also explains the additional skepticisms of ACOs as a whole. Berwick however, does not fail to acknowledge the impacts that ACO has had on the general quality of care provision. This article will help bring in the idea that ACO may not remedy the entire scope of the issues facing the US healthcare system. It provides additional information that even though it may remedy some of the problems in the healthcare system, it is also facing various challenges.

Purington, K., Gauthier, A., Patel, S., & Miller, C. (2011).  On the Road to Better Value: State Roles in Promoting Accountable Care Organizations. The Commonwealth Fund and the National Academy for State Health Policy, 1-36. Retrieved March 3, 2019, from

The authors try to address the importance of overcoming the factors that prevent the quality of care within the US healthcare system and try to adopt a new approach through accountable care organizations. It describes how ACOs are more effective in the provision of patient high-quality health care and reduces the cost of healthcare provision. The authors investigate the ACOs, giving specific examples of their success in the health care sector. The examples provided from this article will enable me to support my points actively.