Accountable care organizations (ACOs) offer an innovative way to rethink the delivery of higher quality and more efficient care. Under this model, accountability shifts from health plans and other entities to the practice level, and provider financial incentives are aligned with optimal care delivery. ACOs have received widespread attention in Medicare and the commercial insurance industry and now, several leading-edge Medicaid agencies are also pursuing ACO models for their beneficiaries. Safety-net ACOs offer significant potential for improving care coordination and curbing spending for some of the nation's highest-risk, highest-cost patients.
With support from The Commonwealth Fund, and additional funding from the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, a program of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) developed Advancing Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations: A Learning Collaborative to help states collaborate with multiple delivery system stakeholders and advance ACO models to drive improvements in quality, delivery, and payment reform. CHCS is working with Medicaid agencies from Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, and Vermont to accelerate ACO program design and implementation. The initiative will focus on four critical areas:
Lessons and resources generated through the collaborative will be shared broadly to inform additional states that are pursuing ACO models.