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ACO Payments May Hinge More on Geography than Quality



A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that payments that participating providers receive in the Medicare Pioneer and Shared Savings ACO programs might be more dependent upon location than performance.



1 comments on "ACO Payments May Hinge More on Geography than Quality"
Mike Barrett (5/3/2012 at 12:32 PM)

So, why does one area expense grows faster than another? Iowa doesn't seem to be fatal for seniors yet the costs there are very low compared to other locations... why? At some point this needs to be answered - if we don't already know what the answer is. And the difficult confrontations be made and resolved. ACOs begin the process of having providers meet, face to face, and explain why their practice patterns are different (for good or bad) from the admittedly ever evolving standard or best evidence of care. That medicine must move from an "art" to a science for the vast majority of care. Medicine should, if not must, expand their vision of the "M" in E&M codes to beyond the office visit. We tell a lawyer they have a fool for client if they advocate for themselves in their specialty. Yet, we expect the patient to advocate for themselves in the far less mature world of healthcare. We can and simply must do better for patients. ACO are most likely not the endpoint, rather an important next step in the evolution of the health care system.