Employers interested in joining hospitals in ACOs

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) could prove a popular option with employer groups looking to keep their workers insured while controlling costs, concludes a new study by consulting firms Aon Hewitt and Polakoff Boland. This ultimately could prove beneficial to hospitals, which have been moving toward forming ACOs but are still unsure of what market demand for such arrangements would be.

According to the study, more than three-quarters of employers are likely to keep providing their workers health insurance coverage rather than moving them to state health exchanges.

"This finding indicates that employers intend to remain 'in the game' of offering healthcare benefits for the foreseeable future. Sixty-five percent of respondents have expressed interest in exploring the use of ACOs as an option for providing healthcare benefits to their workforce," the report said.

However, limiting employee care only to ACO provider networks may have a stifling effect on uptake, the report warned.

"It's clear that ACO proponents need to educate the public about the trade-offs between networks," Polakoff Boland Managing Partner Phil Polakoff said in a statement. "ACO models help organizations reduce healthcare cost, waste and inefficiencies, as well as support the movement from volume to value-based approaches."

To learn more:
- read the press release
- check out the report

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