Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
July 10, 2013

The Looming Threat of Liability for Accountable Care Organizations and What to Do About It

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Harvard Law School, Boston, Massachusetts

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2013;310(2):141-142. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7339

The promotion of accountable care organizations (ACOs), a new health care delivery and payment model designed to curb rising medical costs while improving quality, is one of the most important elements of the Affordable Care Act. The ACO model is based on shared-risk contracts, in which ACOs agree to share the financial risk of health care overspending with third-party payers. Although they originate in Medicare, these shared-risk arrangements are quickly spreading to the private insurance markets, where they aim to dismantle the volume-driven fee-for-service revenue model.1 Hundreds of health systems across the country have already adopted the ACO model and in so doing have taken on a new role of cost containment. What may be less clear to them is that they are taking on new liability risks.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview