An accountable care organization (ACO) is an organization of doctors, hospitals and other health professionals working together to provide the best possible care at a lower cost to participating patients.
An ACO focuses on managing the health of the people they serve. This means instead of simply treating our patients when they are sick, we help patients be as healthy as they can be. We accomplish this by:
- Increasing access to high-performing, high-quality, low-cost providers
- Committing to being accountable for our patients‘ health
- Improving communication with health care teams, for both patients and providers
- Partnering with our patients and empowering them to take charge of their health
Unlike the traditional “fee for service” health care model – where each visit, service, test and procedure has a separate cost – an ACO‘s foundation is built first and foremost on providing quality care for the right price. We use specific measures to determine how well doctors, hospitals and other providers are keeping healthy people healthy, effectively treating illnesses, and helping people better manage their chronic conditions. In this way, all the participating providers share the responsibility of providing quality, efficient, cost-effective care.
ACOs most commonly offer enrollment through an employer‘s health benefits offerings. ACO enrollment may also be available to individuals through licensed insurance brokers.