Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An HMO by any other name, except Medicare beneficiaries won’t have a choice-Accountable Care Organizations and Community Health Teams

Coordinated, managed care is a good thing and something that is sorely lacking.

However, the government should tell people the truth about Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Community Health Teams rather than burying the ACO in the PPACA or just alluding to the health teams in a Joe Biden e-mail. The goal of PPACA is to greatly change not only the way health care is paid for, but how it is delivered. This effort is not new, the concept of the pure HMO was tried forty years ago (HMOs for the most part are no longer true coordinated care organizations). I say tried because the goal of managing care through coordination among physicians in a somewhat closed environment was roundly rejected by both physicians and Americans. That is not to say the concept is bad, in fact the opposite is true.

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