News & Commentary

ACO growth expected to continue

The ACA’s emphasis on value-based care encouraged the growth of ACOs. Most experts agree that ACOs represent an opportunity to make health care more effective. They should stay with us no matter what happens to the ACA (which doesn’t look good as of this writing). MACRA and the 21st Century Cures Act both won broad bipartisan approval and both promise to continue to contribute to the growth of ACOs.

Projected ACO-covered lives


Source: Wellcentive, February 2017

A white paper by Wellcentive, a vendor specializing in population health management, says that “the number of lives covered through ACOs is expected to grow exponentially, reaching more than 105 million patients by 2020 [baseline scenario], compared to just over 20 million today.” There are challenges: dialing back costs, dealing with a coming shortage of physicians, getting patients engaged, maximizing use of electronic health records.

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