US centre spells out how new organisations will provide care for Medicare patients

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 15 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2462
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is trying to reduce fragmentation in and improve the quality of healthcare by using a new type of institution, “accountable care organisations,” to provide care under current healthcare reform legislation.

The centre released draft guidelines at the end of March explaining their role. It said, “An ACO [accountable care organisation] will assume responsibility for the care of a clearly defined population of Medicare beneficiaries attributed to it on the basis of their patterns of use of primary care.”

The centre is also putting in place financial incentives for these bodies to keep costs down. “If an ACO succeeds in …

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