Accountable care organizations (ACOs)--groups of providers that agree to take collective responsibility for delivering and coordinating care for a designated population--are being promoted as a means to improve health and health care while containing costs. This report shares the perspectives of hospitals and health systems taking part in the Premier health care alliance's accountable care implementation collaborative. Lessons emerging from the collaborative relate to the need for ACOs to have certain core structural components; the viability of different organizational models; the importance of people-centered care in all interactions; the need to align business with value-based payments and design incentives to encourage providers to collaborate; the use of financial modeling to assess the impacts of the accountable care model; the need for investments in information technology to enable care coordination; and the importance of performance assessment across a broad range of clinical quality, efficiency, and satisfaction measures.
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