CONTACT: Allison Gross, (202) 417-2075,

Public and private policymakers have spent more than a decade transforming care delivery and exploring alternative payment models to improve the quality of care. Two of the most promising approaches—the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)—both focus on increasing coordinated, outcomes-driven care, but little research has been done on how these models interact to achieve the ‘triple aim’ of better clinical quality, lower costs, and improved population health.

The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) today convened experts to consider the implications of a first-of-its-kind analysis aimed at filling this important knowledge gap. With support from IBM Watson Health and the Milbank Memorial Fund, researchers from the Robert Graham Center collaborated with PCPCC to review published evidence, expert opinions, and secondary data. Their preliminary analysis found that ACOs that leverage advanced primary care models achieved improved population health, lowered costs, and enhanced patient experiences to a greater extent than those that did not.  Nearly all results were trending in the right direction, although not all were statistically significant. 

Researchers say that ACOs and advanced primary care models are well-positioned to work together to achieve respective goals. With a focus on population health management, ACOs depend on the tenets of strong primary care. Primary care, in turn, depends on the larger healthcare system to meet its full potential to improve patient outcomes.

Participants released the following statements in reaction to the report findings:

“ACOs and advanced primary care models both strive to improve quality, reduce costs, and put the patient at the center of their care, but each model has evolved separately. Incorporating advanced primary care in an ACO environment can drive meaningful change.”

Ann Greiner, president and CEO; Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative


“The report establishes a framework to understand the interaction between advanced primary care and the ACO model and highlights key metrics associated with ACO success. These preliminary findings highlight the many opportunities for more research to inform policy.”

Yalda Jabbarpour, Co-Medical Director; Robert Graham Center


"With advanced analytics, we now have the power to do what was previously not possible. We can draw data from disparate sources to incent on quality, utilization, and satisfaction--enabling us to strive for healthier communities while slowing the steady rise of healthcare costs."

Bill Kassler, Deputy Chief Health Officer and Lead Population Health Officer; IBM Watson Health

Annual Report Now Available


The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative

Founded in 2006, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) is a not-for-profit multi-stakeholder membership organization dedicated to advancing an effective and efficient health system built on a strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home. Representing a broad group of public and private organizations, PCPCC’s mission is to unify and engage diverse stakeholders in promoting policies and sharing best practices that support growth of high-performing primary care and achieve the “Quadruple Aim”: better care, better health, lower costs, and greater joy for clinicians and staff in delivery of care.

PCPCC is and will position itself as an advocacy organization—a coalition that serves as a “driver of change,” educating and advocating for ideas, concepts, policies, and programs that advance the goals of high-performing primary care as the foundation of our health care system.

The Robert Graham Center

The Robert Graham Center aims to improve individual and population healthcare delivery through the generation or synthesis of evidence that brings a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations from the local to international levels.

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