Glossary of Health Care and Medical Terms

In many cases,
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Accountable care refers to structures, processes, and incentives aimed at improving the quality of care and the overall health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of healthcare.

On March 31, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed new rules to help doctors, hospitals, and other providers better coordinate care for Medicare patients through Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACOs create incentives for health care providers to work together to treat an individual patient across care settings – including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

Accountable Care Organization (ACO) must meet certain legal requirements. Member physicians and hospitals will share in savings if their Medicare charges are sufficiently below some benchmark. See Patient Protection Act.Formalized by Dr. Elliott Fisher in 2006. CMS definition: An organization of health care providers that agrees to be accountable for the quality, cost, and overall care of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the traditional fee-for-service program who are assigned to it
Also see: ACO

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