Attention To Surgeons And Surgical Care Is Largely Missing From Early Medicare Accountable Care Organizations

  • J. M. Dupree, K. Patel, S. J. Singer, M. West, R. Wang, M. J. Zinner, J. S. Weissman
  • Health Affairs, June 2014, Health Affairs
  • DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1300

Attention to surgery missing in ACO

What is it about?

In this publication, we interviewed and surveyed the first Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). We asked about their strategic priorities and specifically about the attention they may or may not be giving to surgeons and surgical care. We found that strategic attention to surgeons and surgical care is largely missing at these ACOs. Instead, they were focusing on reducing medical readmission, ER visits, and hospital admissions.

Why is it important?

ACOs are a growing payment model and an increasing number of patients and physicians will likely find themselves in an ACO. No one had previously looked at how surgical care would be provided in ACOs and how surgeons would be incorporated into the model. By not including surgeons and surgical care in their strategic plans, the ACOs are missing additional opportunities to improve the quality of care provided and reduce costs for patients and the healthcare system.

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The following have contributed to this page: Joel Weissman, Sara Singer, and James Dupree