Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Palliative Care
"Palliative care could expand the reach of population health interventions beyond prevention of illness by developing strategies to improve well-being after an illness has occurred."
Joan Teno, MD, University of Washington Palliative Care Center of Excellence
David Casarett, MD, Chief of Palliative Care Services at Duke University Health System
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of local health care providers and hospitals who volunteer to work together to provide patients with coordinated care. They aim to minimize costs for patients, especially those facing serious illnesses, by offering them efficient and timely care and avoiding unnecessary duplication of services in the process. In addition, ACOs create an incentive to be more efficient by offering bonuses to providers who keep costs down.
The articles below underscore how palliative care is integral to delivering high-value care in the ACO model.
- Care Delivery and Coordination in the Accountable Care Environment, a Health Affairs article written by Susan Block, Vicki Jackson, and Thomas Lee, describes how palliative care fits in the Partners Health System Pioneer ACO
The Role of Palliative Care in Accountable Care Organizations, an article from the American Journal of Managed Care by Diane Meier and Amy Kelley, articulates palliative care’s quality and cost-effectiveness, in the context of provider accountability
Why Population Health and Palliative Care Need Each Other, an opinion piece by Joan Teno and David Casarett in the Journal of the American Medical Association, explores population-based palliative care
Selected Case Studies
- Providing Early Palliative Care Interventions for Patients with Serious Illness, Sharp Healthcare
- Delivering Home-Based Palliative Care within an ACO, ProHealth