Primary care groups issue accountable care organization principles

December 3, 2010

Four primary care physician membership organizations issued a set of principles for Accountable Care Organizations, where a group of healthcare professionals accept a shared responsibility to deliver a broad set of medical services to a defined set of patients across the age spectrum and are held accountable for the quality and cost of care provided through alignment of incentives.

Four primary care physician membership organizations issued a set of principles for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), where a group of healthcare professionals accept a shared responsibility to deliver a broad set of medical services to a defined set of patients across the age spectrum and are held accountable for the quality and cost of care provided through alignment of incentives.

The four groups-the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association-represent 350,000 physicians.

The 21 principles describe how to build the administrative structure of ACOs, as well as how payment should be facilitated. The principles state that primary care should be the foundation of any ACO and that the recognized patient and/or family-centered medical home is the model that all ACOs should adopt for building their primary care base. Payment approaches should align incentives for improving quality and enhancing efficiency while reducing overall costs, according to the groups.