Researchers Ask: Is ACO Payment Worth the Time, Effort?

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) burst onto the health care scene in the past decade, full of promise as a way to help hospitals, physicians and other health care professionals reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes. And ever since then, researchers have been watching to see if the model delivers on that promise.
Quality patient care is, of course, of utmost importance to family physicians, but so is payment -- and that has left many physicians wondering if joining an ACO is worth the time and effort.

According to just-released research, the answer may be, "Not yet." Or, as corresponding author Andrew Ryan, Ph.D., associate professor of public health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, said in an interview with AAFP News:

"If physicians in ACOs aren't being paid differently, are they really going to practice differently?"

Study Methods

The study( was published in the July/August issue of Annals of Family Medicine and titled "Salary and Quality Compensation for Physician Practices Participating in Accountable Care Organizations."

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