What is an Accountable Care Organization?
An accountable care organization (ACO) is a group of physicians and other health care providers such as hospitals that takes responsibility for the care and cost of delivering that care to a defined population of patients. While staying in fee-for-service payment, the ACO model rewards outcomes that patients care about, aligning financial and clinical interests.
Hospitals and physicians join an ACO with the understanding that they will make quality of patient care a key focus. If the ACO meets all the quality benchmarks and the population’s cost of care is below the established threshold, the ACO can share that savings among its members.