As many of you know, the gov’t has been starting programs to maintain our society’s current standard of living while chipping away our national deficit. So, what’s their next project that’s helping us out? The answer is ACOs or Accountable Care Organizations. The gov’t performed countless research on our health care system and came to the conclusion that it’s very decentralized. Health care providers weren’t communicating with one another about their patients - causing duplicated medical testing on patients and driving up costs. The gov’t also found baby-boomers are approaching their retirement age. This shift will put a major strain on all gov’t sponsored health care services like Medicare or Medicaid, as 2 out of 3 Americans over the age of 65 suffers from multiple chronic conditions.
What Are ACOs and How Can They Help?
NPR’s article, "Accountable Care Organizations, Explained," defines ACOs as, ‘a network of doctors and hospitals that shares responsibility for providing care to patients.’ The goal is to reduce duplicated/unnecessary tests without compromising the patient’s health and help drive costs down. Additionally, the gov’t will provide incentives for ACOs to keep patients healthy and out of the health care system. This program is purely voluntary and patients will have to option to visit doctors outside the program if they choose.
It is estimated the program will save Medicare close to $1 billion over the next 3 years. Arkansas is reported to save $372 million over the next 6 years alone. It’s nowhere near our $15 trillion debt, but it’s a sizable chunk that we can look forward to.
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