AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Accountable Care Organizations
Two accountable care organizations (ACOs) that used financial risk sharing and various improvement initiatives to reduce health care utilization and costs for defined patient populations are featured by the AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange. One profile describes a county-based accountable care organization that integrates medical, behavioral, and social services with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing costs for newly enrolled Medicaid beneficiaries in Hennepin County, Minn. Known as Hennepin Health, the ACO is a partnership among several entities within the county government that share financial risk. An assigned care coordinator works to ensure that each enrollee receives appropriate services based on his or her medical, mental, and social service needs. Partners share data electronically to generate complete information on each enrollee and jointly implement initiatives to improve care and promote appropriate utilization. The organization has seen higher enrollment; lowered admissions, readmissions, and emergency department visits; and high enrollee satisfaction. Access more innovation profiles and tools related to accountable care organizations on the Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 775 searchable innovations and 1,525 Quality Tools.