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Invited Commentary
September 2017

Improving Care in an Accountable Care OrganizationSo Many Choices, So Little Time

Author Affiliations
  • 1George Washington University, Department of Medicine, Washington, DC
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(9):1023-1024. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2207

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) formally debuted in national health care in 2012 with the launch of Medicare programs, particularly the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). While ACOs were not conceptually new, the Affordable Care Act requirement to establish these programs in Medicare led to such tremendous growth that by January 2017, 480 shared savings program ACOs existed in the United States that provided care for nearly 10 million Medicare beneficiaries.1 With ACOs and other advanced alternative payment models becoming enshrined in physician payments by the Medicare Access and Child Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, which passed in the US Congress with strong bipartisan support in 2015, the ACO programs are likely to expand in scope and participation.