The Nuts and Bolts of ACOs - Part One

In today's new environment, accountable care organizations (ACOs) are becoming more prevalent, as health care providers in all facets struggle to maintain the quality of care dictated by the Affordable Care Act. In this coming series, we will explore ACOs and how this new model can translate into opportunities for DME providers. We will also look at the changing fact of health care, and where everyone may need to position themselves for success. First, however, we wanted to start out with a few resources. Some you may have seen, some you may not have come across yet, but all can be valuable. Ever wonder what your patients and customers see when they go browsing the internet about ACOs and their own care? CMS's take on ACO pioneer groups and their basic message on ACOs is available on their website:CMS describes ACOs as "groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients." For more on CMS's take, visit At the same site, see how your state measures up against others in innovations with regard to accountable care.

For a straight-ahead information geared toward patients and consumers, visit Or for something a bit more rounded, Kaiser Health news offers a comprehensive general overview about ACOs and the possible impacts on the industry.

Though ACOs are relatively new, the idea has been at the forefront of industry discussion since the ACA became reality. The real question, from our perspective, is how DME providers fit into the mix. In the April 2012 issue of HomeCare, Alan Morris discussed the possible opportunity for providers. Little more than two years later, HME News discusses how one provider flipped the model and found success.

The Internet is full of information about ACOs, how they work and what they will mean for patients. Join us over the next couple of months as we explore what they may mean for the HME industry.