Home > Accountable Care Organizations, Health Law Reform -- General, Healthcare Business, Improving Healthcare, Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Physician Practices > From HMOs to ACOs: Meet the newest model in health care management – TwinCities.com

From HMOs to ACOs: Meet the newest model in health care management – TwinCities.com

When critics look at health care in America, many describe a system that’s fragmented, inefficient and burdened with waste.

Doctors and hospitals generally are paid a fee for every service they provide, the critique goes, so they lack financial incentives to effectively coordinate care and make sure patients get only the services they need.

Patients often have a front-row seat on the dysfunction, critics say, as they are shuffled off to specialists without needed paperwork, undergo unnecessary tests or make repeat hospital visits when medical centers don’t get it right the first time.

Enter “accountable care organizations,” a new structure in health management that the federal government, health insurers and some physicians hope will tame the woes. Doctors, hospitals and clinics would be given responsibility to provide care for a group of patients — within a budget. If health care providers better coordinate care to provide good quality for less money, they can share in the savings.

Republicans and Democrats “agree that transitioning from fee for service to global payments in health care will be necessary in order to deal with the budget deficit,” Bottles wrote in an email. “The consolidation of the health care industry will continue no matter which party prevails in the November election.”

This push for accountable care organizations (or “ACOs”) is driving a consolidation trend among health care companies that’s increasingly being felt in Minnesota. The clearest example is a plan announced in August to combine the HealthPartners and Park Nicollet health systems into one of Minnesota’s largest nonprofit health companies, with 20,000 employees, including 1,500 physicians.

See on www.twincities.com

For an aggregation of other articles on Hot Topics in Healthcare Law, go to my magazine on Scoop.it – Hot Topics in Healthcare Law and Regulation and my newspaper on Paper.li – Hot Topics in Healthcare Law.

For an aggregation of other articles on improving healthcare, go to my internet magazine Scoop.it! Changing Health for the Better.

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