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'The Business of Health Care Report'

The Patient’s Role in Accountable Care Organizations

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

We’ve talked before about Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, as one part of efforts to transform the delivery of health care. The concept of an ACO is that of a virtual organization made up of local health care delivery systems and physicians. The purpose of an ACO is to hold healthcare providers accountable for patient care through performance measurements and pay-for-performance programs.

Healthcare providers, employers, insurance companies and policy makers are looking at several different structures for ACOs. Ultimately, we will probably see two or three models emerge because the “one size fits all” approach is not likely to work. Whatever model is adopted by a particular group or a specific geographic area must fit the needs of the community and take into account the level and type of healthcare resources already available in the area.

No matter what the structure of an ACO may be, patients are the ones who will make it a success or failure. The best physicians and nurses in the world using the most advanced medical technology available cannot be successful without the patient’s cooperation. Each patient must be accountable for doing things that are within their control to improve health. That includes things like adopting healthier eating habits, avoiding tobacco, exercising and following their doctor’s orders.

Accountability requires every stakeholder working together for a common purpose – to improve the health of the communities we serve.

For our faith-based family of hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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