Seven years have passed since the Affordable Care Act catalyzed the idea of volume over value in the healthcare industry, paving the way for accountable care organizations (ACOs) to accrue shared shavings while focusing on population health.
Since that time, the number of ACOs has exploded to over 920 organizations contracted with public and private payers. More than 10 percent of the US population now receives care from a provider contracted under an ACO.
The increasing popularity of alternative payment and care delivery models may be due to their potential to reduce overall healthcare spending.
In 2016, ACOs in four Medicare programs decreased costs by $836 million while simultaneously earning quality scores that averaged over 90 percent.