Improving health care and lowering costs are high priorities. But what's the most efficient way to transform our health care system?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation are finding out. The government has set up Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to test different ways to deliver health care. ACOs are groups of doctors and hospitals that come together to offer coordinated care for patients. They focus on:
- Offering the right treatments - at the right time.
- orking with other doctors to treat patients with multiple health issues.
The goal is to find the best way to improve the efficiency of Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
How does it work?
It starts with America's innovators. Doctors, hospitals and community leaders are uncovering better ways to deliver health care. They're tackling issues, like:
- Quality of care: safety, effectiveness, timeliness, and equality
- Better health for all: how doctors encourage exercise, nutrition and preventive care
- Lowering costs: how doctors are paid, preventive medicine, improving efficiency and reducing waste
These doctors and health care workers, particularly at ACOs, are submitting their ideas to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation then reviews their innovative ideas, tests them, and finally evaluates them against strict criteria.
Why? Because when the brightest minds come together, we have the greatest chance of turning our health care system around.
How it impacts you
We all want better health care at a lower cost. New ways of delivering health care, paying doctors, and encouraging better health is one possible way to make this happen.
How will my experience at an ACO be different?
Instead of relying on you to call all of your doctors, your doctors will talk to one another. You might have less paperwork to fill out or fewer phone calls to make. Overall, your care experience at an ACO should feel seamless.
How do I know if my care is at an ACO?
Not every hospital or doctor is part of an ACO. If you're wondering, just ask. Most doctors will know if their group is part of an ACO. To learn more about ACOs, visit Medicare.gov.
Can I still see any doctor?
Yes. Even if your doctor is part not of an ACO, you can still see any doctor that takes your insurance.