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News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.647News3
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Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

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New AHRQ resources on accountable care organizations: The accountable care organization (ACO) is a care delivery and payment model in which a group of coordinated health care providers—primary care physicians, specialists, and hospitals—are collectively accountable for the quality and cost of care for a defined group of patients. ACOs have the potential to effectively align incentives for partners and provide better quality care at lower costs. However, only about 10% of Americans receive care under this model. New resources posted on the Innovations Exchange Web site of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provide detailed accounts of the implementation and operation of two ACOs that have achieved early goals. One operates under an annual global budget for individuals covered by the California Public Employees Retirement System. The other is a county-based ACO in Minnesota that integrates medical, behavioral, and social services for newly enrolled Medicaid beneficiaries in Hennepin County. The AHRQ site also features two tools related to ACOs. The Safety Net Accountable Care Organization Readiness Assessment Tool is designed for administrators and staff to assess their organization’s readiness to take on the responsibilities of becoming an ACO. The Physician's Accountable Care Toolkit provides information about essential elements of a successful ACO and step-by-step implementation guidance. These and other resources are available on the AHRQ Web site at www.innovations.ahrq.gov/issue.aspx?id=153.

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