Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creating an ACO: An Ethical Issue?

I’ve blogged before about Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and reform. ACOs were one of the few specific programs mentioned in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and have therefore received much attention from health care organizations around the country.

But perhaps more important than the “how” of ACOs is the “why” of ACOs. It is the hope of health care reform that by better integrating care for a person across the health care continuum, we will, as providers, be able to improve quality of care and patient safety while reducing costs. In a recent article appearing in the July/August 2010 edition of Healthcare Executive, this outcome was characterized as “The Ethical Basis for Creating ACOs.” The authors indicated that organizations, like CHRISTUS Health, “have a moral imperative to deliver cost-effective, high-quality and safe health care.”

The authors also wrote a small section on being stewards of health care resources, one of the important guidelines embedded within our values. Hence, it appears that with our strong commitment to becoming a high quality low cost provider, driven by our values and organizational ethics, that CHRISTUS Health can develop an ACO that is a trusted resource for health and wellness care, serving as both a national and international model.

No comments: