A recent Washington Post article discusses Montefiore Medical Center, a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that “saved the government $24.5 million in Medicare spending.”
Simply, an ACO is a “network of doctors, nurses and social workers who team up to deliver continuous, coordinated care to patients — and, in the process, slash government spending.” They were created by the Affordable Care Act to innovate new ways to cut healthcare costs.
The government has stated ACOs have saved nearly $100 million in the past year.
Montefiore cuts costs by “[bridging] the gap between patients and the often confusing world of health care.” For example, “Nurses regularly call patients to make sure they’re taking their medicine. Emergency room aides consult a medical history database for every visitor, to avoid repeating expensive tests such as MRIs.”
Most innovative is their housing system, “which aims to find one-bedroom apartments for homeless patients who show up in the emergency room, again and again.
However, the methods Montefiore comes up with could only be effective for patients in their specific region. Therefore, it is important for different areas to use their own demographic information and possibly set up their own version of an ACO in order to see which innovations will be most effective for them.
Summary by MedicalGroups.com
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