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Northern Rockies Healthcare Alliance

About Northern Rockies Healthcare Alliance

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are health care providers that have decided to pursue a strategy of quality improvement and cost reduction while accepting financial responsibility for a defined population. ACOs are generally organized and driven by hospitals or physician groups that adopt financial accountability for the health care needs of a population; manage the care of that population across the health care continuum; and utilize emerging health information technology to improve quality and cost. In short, an ACO is an outcome-driven delivery and payment system reform effort that emphasizes achievement of the triple aim of improved health outcomes and patient experience, and cost reduction.

The ACO model has proliferated rapidly across the United States since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) included it as a strategy for improving quality and reducing health care costs. An estimated 23.5 million Americans receive care from 744 ACOs across the country, as of January 2015. 14% of Americans already see a provider that is in an ACO, and the model is growing in markets across the country.

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