Thirteen percent of hospitals are participating or plan to participate in an ACO

Thirteen percent of hospitals are currently participating in an Accountable Care Organization or plan to do so within the next year, according to report by the Commonwealth Fund. 

The findings in the report are from a survey sent by the Health and Research Education Trust (HRET) to 4,973 short term, acute care hospitals.  Key findings from the survey, which had a 34% response rate:

  • 75% of respondents were not currently exploring the ACO model at all; 12% were unsure if they will be.
  • Hospitals that were participating or planning to participate tended to be larger, belong to a health system, be teaching and non-profit, and located in urban areas.
  • The most common forms of ACO governance were joint ventures between physicians and hospitals (51%), followed by physician led governance (20%).
  • 52% of respondents were pursuing the simple shared savings model, where the ACO will share the savings it achieves without incurring any financial loss if costs exceed the spending target.

Among hospitals participating in an ACO, the top three challenges reported included reducing clinical care variation, reducing the cost of care, and developing and maintaining a common culture among the various ACO partners.

(Source: The Commonwealth Fund,, August 2012)