Finding Unicorns Thoughts on Accountable Care Organizations

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Finding Unicorns Thoughts on Accountable Care Organizations
Calendar13 August 2014

Back in 2010, one industry expert said, “The accountable care organization is like a unicorn, a fantastic creature that is vested with mythical powers. But no one has actually seen one.” Has the myth become a reality? Not quite. But in their recent Health Affairs blog, Suzanne Delbanco of Catalyst for Payment Reform and David Lansky from the Pacific Business Group on Health laid out some important steps employers can take to drive improved health care quality and affordability through the mechanism of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). While some large and market-leading employers are in the press making strides toward greater provider accountability and payment reform, Delbanco and Lansky’s piece (and accompanying toolkit) provide all employers with some tangible requirements that will help achieve this goal. If ACOs truly will have “mythical powers” in transforming the health care system, Delbanco and Lansky urge employers to “set the bar high, with expectations for improvement in care quality and cost savings.”

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