Innovative Healthcare Delivery Model
New models of healthcare delivery are being adopted in order to provide a sustainable and efficient solution to health problems. An example of such models in healthcare reform is the Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). This type of model comprises of a collaboration of interdisciplinary primary healthcare professionals including doctors, specialists and other healthcare providers (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2010). These professionals work in partnership with Medicare to provide affordable and quality patient care. The ACO professionals treat patients under the category of Medicare fee-for-service resulting in better patient outcomes, reduced costs and quality care (Fisher, Shortell, Kreindler, Van Citters, & Larson, 2012).
ACOs support doctors to provide care that is tailored to specific patient needs by enabling them to work together and providing them with information about their patients. Care providers in ACOs must be accountable for the cost and quality of care provided (ANA, 2010). Moreover, beneficiaries of ACOs must not be less than 5,000. Care offered by ACOs must also be patient-centered. ACOS are rewarded by the Medical Shared Savings Program (MSSP) if they are able to meet certain quality of care standards and also reduce the growth rate of Medicare beneficiaries’ healthcare costs (ANA, 2010).
The ACO model is beneficial because it allows for the better management of care for a large number of people with a bigger budget (Fisher et al., 2012). Cost management is achieved through the use of money across a wide range of conditions and patients. Patients benefit when healthcare organizations and providers coordinate healthcare services and are able to track outcomes. Patients benefit from efficient and high-quality care (ANA, 2010). Therefore, affordable care organizations are effective models of healthcare delivery that reduce fragmented care, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.
American Nurses Association (2010). New Care Delivery Models in Health System Reform: Opportunities for Nurses & their Patients. Retrieved 13 February 2014 from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Policy-Advocacy/Positions-and-Resolutions/Issue-Briefs/Care-Delivery-Models.pdf
Fisher, E.S., Shortell, S.M., Kreindler, S.A., Van Citters, A.D., & Larson, B.K. (2012). A framework for evaluating the formation, implementation, and performance of accountable care organizations. Health Affairs, 31(11), 2368-2378.
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