Hospitals and health systems need to assess ACO capabilities

Hospitals and health systems interested in participating in Medicare accountable care organizations should assess their capabilities in key areas.

According to an AHA Research Synthesis Report, key components of the ACO model include IT infrastructure, resources for patient education, team-building capabilities, strong relationships with physicians and other providers, and the ability to monitor and report quality data. Major investments may be necessary in these areas in order for organizations to be successful under this model.

(Sources: AHA Research Synthesis Report, http://www.hret.org, June, 2010; AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, June 17, 2010)