Provisions in the health reform law call for the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services to evaluate different models of unified care delivery, including the ACO model.
An article in Health Affairs suggests that CMS allow flexibility and tiers in ACOs based on specific circumstances, such as the degree to which an ACO is a fully integrated system. The authors also propose that CMS develop a system for learning how to create and sustain ACOs. Key steps would include setting specific performance goals, developing skills and tools that facilitate change, establishing measurement and accountability mechanisms, and supporting leadership development.
(Source: Health Affairs, http://content.healthaffairs.org, July, 2010)