Health Policy

  • Published on:
  • October 26, 2015

Recent data suggest that Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are improving important aspects of care and some are achieving early cost savings, but there is a long way to go. Not all ACOs will be successful at meeting the quality and cost aims of accountable care. The private sector has to date allowed more flexibility in terms of varying risk arrangements—there are now over 250 accountable care arrangements with private payers in all parts of the country—with notable success in some cases, particularly in ACOs that have been able to move farther away from fee-for-service payments. Future growth of the Medicare ACO program will depend on providers having the incentives to become an ACO and the flexibility to assume different levels of risk, ranging from exclusively upside arrangements to partial or fully capitated payment models.