Provider groups that claim to be accountable care organizations now have a way to prove it through an accreditation program offered by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
"Since the idea of ACOs became something that people got excited about in the last couple of years, many organizations are saying 'I'm an ACO, I'm an ACO,' " says Sarah Thomas, vice president of public policy and communications for the NCQA, a private non-profit healthcare measurement group in Washington, D.C.
"But not all organizations have what it takes to be able to deliver on the promise of the Triple AIM, which is better quality, better experience and at a lower cost. This program is designed to help purchasers and consumers know which ACOs have met our tough tests to deliver on that promise."
By the end of the year, Thomas says, "the public will know the names of several organizations that have passed our tough review." Many more of the 100 or so self-labeled ACOs around the country are expected to seek similar scrutiny in 2013.