Care coordination in accountable care organizations: moving beyond structure and incentives

Am J Manag Care. 2012 Dec;18(12):778-80.


Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are considered by many to be a key component of healthcare delivery system improvement. One expectation is that the structural elements of the ACO model, including clinical integration and financial accountability, will lead to better coordination of care for patients. But, while structure and incentives may facilitate the delivery of coordinated care, they will not necessarily ensure that care coordination is done well. For that, physicians and other healthcare providers within ACOs must possess and utilize specific skills, particularly in the areas of collaboration, communication, and teamwork. In this article, we present strategies in 3 domains--training, support tools, and organizational culture--that ACOs can implement to foster the development of these skills and support their use in clinical practice.

MeSH terms

  • Accountable Care Organizations / organization & administration*
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Care Management / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team