Date of Completion

5-21-2014

Document Type

Campus Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Hsin-Ching Wu

Second Advisor

Connie Chan

Abstract

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a new way of establishing accountability for providers of healthcare services by creating a financial risk-sharing relationship between providers and insurers, and are becoming a major model for reforming the delivery of care in the United States. This research will attempt to answer how accountable care organizations will affect overall healthcare reform efforts. Questions were answered through a review of scholarly literature and through qualitative research. Interviews were completed with health policy and provider-side experts. Responses covered multiple key themes, including how ACOs work, views on healthcare reform in Massachusetts vs. the federal level, how to define success for ACOs, the possible negative consequences of ACO reforms, barriers to implementing ACOs, and the general culture and perception of healthcare on the part of the general public. Both providers and policy experts agree ACOs are the way to move forward with reforming the industry, but they call for more in-depth regulations that help define the success standards through which ACOs will be measured. Combined with this and other improvements, those interviewed believe ACOs are the key to reforming our healthcare industry and ensuring affordable, quality care for the general public.

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