Will Accountable Care Organizations Just Become HMOs in Drag?

PAT SALBER

Originally published 1/31/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are supposed to be provider-led (physician groups +/- hospitals) and, they are supposed to inject a new accountability, at the provider level, for the value of services delivered.  You know the old equation.  VALUE=QUALITY/COST.  Those of us inside the health policy “beltway” know this mantra well.  We have been talking about it for years (decades, really).

I spent almost 6 years working as a consultant to General Motors Corporation starting in the late 90’s.  My job was to systematically evaluate health plans’ quality programs so that GM could determine the value the plans were bringing to their employees.  My team and I helped develop an elaborate Request for Information process that is now known as eValue8.

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