Accountable Care Organizations Model Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1907 Words
Date:  2022-12-12


Patient satisfaction is a major concern for most of the healthcare centers and all nurses and doctors aim at increasing it. There are several ways in which patient satisfaction can be achieved. Such examples include making eye contact with the patients, using their names when addressing them, showing concerns for their conditions and using the right medical procedures to instill trust in them. The hospital atmosphere also affects the level of satisfaction, whereby the well-built, organized and clean hospitals offer higher satisfaction than the one with the contrary conditions. Patients also enjoy personalized attention or service, whereby their treatment process is done as per their wishes. Accountable care organizations (ACO) refers to the groups of doctors, nurses, and hospitals that come together to offer high-quality medical services to their members. Their aim is to voluntarily give medical care to patients and to ensure there is a high level of accountability. The organizations also ensure there is reliable access to healthcare services and that the cots are manageable. The medical home models are a type of services delivery that is a patient-centered and aims at offering continuous and comprehensive medical care to patients. The use of ACO medical home models increases access, quality and reduces costs of obtaining healthcare.

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Patients' Satisfaction

The satisfaction of the patients is paramount to the health care programs and ACO and the medical home models have major impacts on them. Preventive care is one of the most effective ways in which the ACO model offers solutions to patients that help them stay away from common diseases. The satisfaction of the patients is high when doctors give the right advice on how to avoid contracting the common diseases. The model makes it possible for patients to become proactive rather than reactive to the diseases that affect them. The model also increases satisfaction by encouraging the use of the Affordable Care Act guidelines, which also reduces the costs of attaining quality healthcare. One feature about ACO is that it is large and it includes many specialists who can track the information about the patients and make valid follow-ups. The follow-ups and the high quality of healthcare increase the satisfaction that patients have towards the services offered. ACO model also uses a patient-centered care system which makes it possible to focus on the issues that affect the patients (Kaufman, Spivack, Stearns, Song & O'Brien, 2017). The use of the ACO model also makes it easy for doctors to make choices that can assist them in providing patients with the best services.

ACO makes it possible for the patients to stay out of the need for readmissions because it has a good follow up on the effectiveness of the medical processes. The other factor is that the doctors and hospitals that join up in the ACO increase the resources like medicines and other supplies that are necessary for providing healthcare. According to Moberly (2017), the integration of ACO models into the other structures of health increased the usage and the possibility of having the best outcomes from them. For example, the use of ACO in the implementation of healthcare acts and laws makes it possible to reap the benefits of both. In such a scenario, it increases the satisfaction of the patients because they do not have to make choices on using either of them. Generally, there was an improvement in the healthcare system and patients had better experiences as compared to before (McWilliams, Landon, Chernew & Zaslavsky, 2014). The satisfaction increased with the improvement of the services and experiences that patients had, which includes timely access to healthcare.

Access to Care

ACO medical home model helps people to access healthcare services in an easier way as compared to other models and traditional ways. The combination of a large number of medical specialists and hospitals makes it easy to access quality healthcare in the neighborhood. Due to the high number of medical practitioners, some refer to ACO as the medical neighborhood. It implies the ease of access that ACO creates and the advantage it has to the community. One of the main targets of establishing the ACO model was to improve the access that people had to healthcare services. Together with the affordable care act, access to healthcare was intended to become a lesser bother (Resnick, 2018). The introduction of ACO led to an increase in the knowledge that patients had on their right and opportunities to get quality healthcare. In a survey done in 2012, which included data from three years before and one year before the introduction of ACO, and which showed the experience of 32,334 participants, there was an increase in the access to healthcare and the primary healthcare practitioners were more informed about the services required by the patients (McWilliams, Landon, Chernew & Zaslavsky, 2014). The survey unveiled many factors that were used to conclude the improvement was as a result of the ACO models.

The other concern was that ACO increased the timeliness with which patients could access the required healthcare services. Apart from the increased and timely access, ACO also improved the interactions that patients had with the physicians, whereby the time they spent with them increased and they could get more attention from them. In the survey mentioned above, the main focus was on how people access urgent, non-urgent and specialty care. The increased access also improved the earnings of the organizations that offer fee-for-service care. The intent of having the ACO programs was to increase the access to high-value preventative services that help to keep away diseases. For example, for patients with chronic illnesses, and mostly the ones with no insurance covers, ACO models increased their access to healthcare and reduced their financial burdens. The government also wanted to end of the downward spiral of healthcare, education and medical services offered in the government institutions, to improve the quality of life and to increase the resources that hospitals had (Cline, Sweeney & Cooper, 2018). The connection between access to healthcare and the application of ACO models is evident in the way the models guides the patients to reach out to the medical services.


The quality of healthcare services can be measured by determining its efficiency in solving the challenges that patients have. There are many factors that affect the quality of healthcare. Since it was introduced by the ACA in 2010, ACO helped to increase the efficiency levels and it offers many solutions for future medical innovations (Harrison, Spaulding & Harrison, 2018). ACO helps to increase the quality and to reduce the factors that are likely to affect the delivery of services. One of the ways in which ACO improved the quality of the services was through the improved record keeping. The new system helped the medical practitioners to keep records using the latest technology to keep the records and to ensure that there is consistency with the records. Loss of information about the patients is a major challenge because it leads to medical errors (Babyar, 2016). The other one is that ACO improved the payment systems and this increased the ease with which people paid for the services. ACO included the use of many technological services. The quality of healthcare services can be tested using the caregiver experiences, the preventative health services, the care coordination and the safety of the patients.

The quality of the services can also be determined by the success of medical procedures. For example, in a case where the patients are involved in a surgery, its success and the outcomes of the surgery can indicate the quality of the services offered. If the patients recover fast and the challenge is solved, then the patients perceive it as low-quality care. A good example of an organization that uses ACO is Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization (ACO) which uses ACO to ensure there is a high quality of health services offered to its members. After the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) increased the possibility of medical practitioners using the latest technology in the sector. In Allina Health (Minneapolis), about 210 primary care providers joined to offer quality care in the area (Babyar, 2016). The ACO is an example of a case where the quality of healthcare can be measured by the use of the services offered. The primary care providers give services in a more efficient way as compared to the ones they offered before the ACO model.


The costs of healthcare services remains a challenge to many people in the world today. The high costs of accessing and sustaining healthcare services make it hard for financially unstable families to meet their basic healthcare services. According to Babyar (2018), cost saving has been reported in many organizations where ACO is used. An example of an organization or ACO model that is associated with cost saving is Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance (Dallas). The ACO model has more than 3,800 primary care practitioners and it has improved the delivery of services in the area since 2015. Similarly, there are many ACO model uses who reported a reduction in the costs of their operations after the introduction of the models. A survey done on the model shows that it led to a reduction of $14 per month per participant and this was attributed to the improved management of healthcare services. For example, most of the patients reduced the number of times they visit the doctors. The reduction is equivalent to 2% of the total costs of healthcare in the United States (Babyar, 2016). Most of the participants also recorded improved satisfaction with the way the physicians handled their cases.

The other reason why ACO reduces the costs of healthcare is that it prevents medical challenges before they occur. As mentioned earlier, ACO helps organizations to be proactive rather than reactive. For example, the many primary care specialists who work in the ACO models, their diversified experience and expertise make it possible to determine and predict the possible outcomes of the symptoms and to take actions to prevent the diseases. The other cost-cutting experience is that ACO increases the access and the use of technology and this makes it cheaper as compared to the time when patients had to travel for long distances to seek for the same services. The other way is that ACO increases the success of the medical procedures, which reduces the need for repeated trips to the hospitals.


The use of the ACO in the United States since its introduction has changed the healthcare sector in many ways. The analysis above shows that when many primary care practitioners come together, they offer better services and patients can enjoy the synergy of the ACO home medical models and the other medical services and insurance plans by the government. Most of the organizations that use ACO have reported a high quality of services, reduction in costs of medical services and high efficiency. The use of ACO has also offered many options for future innovations and these include the use of the new technology to offer healthcare services. The high cost of healthcare in the world can be reduced through such programs that allow primary practitioners to combine their efforts to improve the quality of healthcare services. However, the use of ACO has several challenges that need to be analyzed in future research. The government can increase the usage of the ACO models by allocating resources that can be used to improve the areas where it has not met the intended outcomes.


Babyar, J. (2016). Oppor...

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