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Premier: ACOs Poised for Growth

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 20, 2013

After much enthusiasm but a sluggish start, insurers and healthcare providers appear to be gearing up for greater participation in accountable care organizations, according to a new survey from Premier, Inc.

Payers and providers have been more reticent about creating accountable care organizations than their enthusiasm projected 18 months ago, according to a recent survey of senior hospital executives.

Asked ACO creation in the spring of 2012, nearly 5% of these leaders said they were part of an ACO. An additional 47% were confident they'd have one in place by the end of 2013. In reality, only 18.3% of these respondents had an ACO in place in August of 2013.

The responses were in response to a questionnaire distributed by Premier, Inc., the group purchasing and quality improvement organization with about 2,900 member hospitals.

The slow growth rate won't last, Premier officials believe.

Questioned again this fall, a higher number of survey respondents indicated confidence that their hospitals would be involved in an ACO soon, and about 6.6% fewer than in the spring survey said they would not participate in an ACO in the foreseeable future.

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