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Creating Accountable Care Organizations: A NEJM Roundtable

Thomas H. Lee, M.D., Lawrence P. Casalino, M.D., Ph.D., Elliott S. Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., and Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D.

N Engl J Med 2010; 363:e23

Introduction

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare will launch a Shared Savings Program for groups of health care providers that join forces, with or without hospitals or health plans, to form legal entities that agree to take responsibility for the quality, cost, and overall care of a population of patients. What will these accountable care organizations (ACOs) look like? Who will step forward to form them? What are the best pathways and likely hurdles to achieving ACO status? What are the risks of entering the arena, and what are the expected benefits for clinicians and patients? In a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Thomas Lee, experts Lawrence Casalino, Elliott Fisher, and Gail Wilensky explored these and other questions.

To watch video clip, click here.

Transcript extract:

1. Introduction to ACOs

DR. THOMAS LEE: Welcome to a video roundtable of the New England Journal of Medicine on accountable careorganizations. I’m Tom Lee, an associate editor of the Journal and network president of Partners Healthcare. In atime of incredible transition in health care, we’re all hoping that where we are headed is a delivery system thatdelivers higher-quality care more efficiently. Are accountable care organizations, or ACOs, the vehicle? Whateveryone says is the devil is in the details.To talk about that today, we’ve got three experts with complementary perspectives. We have Gail Wilensky, aneconomist and senior fellow at Project Hope, who served in a variety of roles with relevance to this topic, includingadministrator of the Health Care Financing Administration and chair of MedPAC. We have Elliott Fisher, who is thedirector of the Center for Health Policy Research and a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. And wehave Larry Casalino, who is the chief of the Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and a professor atWeill Cornell Medical College.

To download complete transcript, click here.

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