Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a network of healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals, who voluntarily come together to provide coordinated high-quality care to their Medicare patients. The primary goal of an ACO is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, receive the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. By focusing on the needs of patients and linking payments to outcomes, ACOs aim to improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

When an ACO succeeds in both delivering high-quality care and spending healthcare dollars more wisely, it shares in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program. This model encourages collaboration and communication among providers, fostering a more integrated approach to patient care. ACOs emphasize preventive care, chronic disease management, and the use of health information technology to track and manage patient health, ultimately striving to enhance the overall patient experience and health outcomes.