Patient Experiences in ACOs: Real-Life Success Stories
Discussions about accountable care organizations (ACOs) frequently revolve around the financial side of the model – how to control health care costs by preventing avoidable readmissions; eliminating unnecessary tests; or encouraging patients to use lower cost care settings.
Achieving financial sustainability is a key goal in the shift from volume to value, but accountable care organizations, at their essence, have a higher goal: to improve patient outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction through coordinated care, that puts patients at the center of the decision-making process.
Patients may be unfamiliar with the term “accountable care organization,” but they are benefiting in real ways from the care they receive through ACOs. Here are two real-life stories of patients (whose names have been changed for confidentiality purposes) whose lives were changed for the better through communication, education, and appropriate clinical interventions.
Patricia: Understanding the Underlying Issues
The care coordinator helped Patricia choose a new doctor, and explained the benefits of urgent care if she needed immediate attention. Patricia now sees her primary care doctor regularly, is managing her condition and recently avoided an unnecessary $2,500 ER visit. The care coordinator calls Patricia every other week, coaching her on how to manage her symptoms and avoid complications, and shares updates electronically with Patricia’s new primary care physician to optimize care coordination.
Frank: Identifying a Better Plan for Care
Uncovering Opportunities for Better, Patient-Centered Care