The Leavitt ACO Report: Does it Overstate or Understate Accountable Care Activity?

Vince Kuraitis

Posted 11/30/11 on the e-CareManagement Blog

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have been likened to

unicorn — a fantastic creature that is vested with mythical powers. But no one has actually seen one.

camel — a horse designed by a committee, one that already has its nose in the tent

With this background, you can begin to appreciate the difficulty of conducting an accurate census of ACO animals in the wilderness.  Yet, this is exactly the task undertaken in the excellent Leavitt Partners report measuring ACO activity in the US.

As I will explain, the Leavitt report has the potential both to overestimate and underestimate ACO and accountable care-like activities. In my judgment, however, it’s far more likely to be understating just how much accountable care activity actually is going on.

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