Physician Consolidation and the Spread of Accountable Care Organizations

Research Brief

Physician Consolidation and the Spread of Accountable Care Organizations

Large practices increase as ACOs enter markets

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of physicians and hospitals that jointly contract to care for a patient population. ACOs assume different levels of financial risk in caring for a population and can receive financial rewards for achieving certain cost and quality goals. ACO contracts incentivize coordination of care across providers. This can lead to greater consolidation of physician practices, which can in turn generate higher costs and lower quality. Given this, the study asks, as ACOs enter health care markets, do physician practices grow larger?

Click on the image below for findings in Health Affairs: