Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

What does an ACO look like?

ACOs are all the rage, but what does a typical ACO look like ? A study by Shortell et al. (2014) attempts to answer this question using data from the National Survey of ACOs. This survey includes ACOs participating in Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial payer programs.  The authors consider eight attributes for creating an ACO taxonomy […]

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A glitch in ACO beneficiary assignement?

For most managed care plans, beneficiaries elect to participate in the plan. In exchange, beneficaries often have lower premiums, but often restricted access to providers (e.g., referral requirements, copayment differentials for out-of-network physicians). Medicare’s Accountable Care Organizations (known as Shared Savings Plans (SSP)) also assign beneficaries to organizations. The SSPs are groups of providers that […]

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Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare

I have written numerous posts about the pros and cons of Accountable Care Organizations.  In 2012, Medicare begame allowing providers to form ACOs.  An article by Pope and Kautter provides an overview of the initiative. The Medicare program, which covers the elderly and disabled, is the largest medical insurance system in the USA. One major […]

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Rationing comes to Massachusetts

Massachusetts legislature passed a first-in-the-nation bill limits the growth of health care costs in the state. “The bill would not allow spending on health care to grow any faster than the state’s economy through 2017. For five years after that, any rise in health care costs would need to be half a percentage point lower […]

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