Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) aim to improve managed care by controlling costs and rewarding efficiency while maintaining high standards of care. The core idea of the ACO is that groups of providers — hospitals, physicians, some combination of both — will agree to be responsible for all of the medical care for a certain number of people, even for the care that they're not directly providing. The responsibility — or to match the coinage, the accountability — is supposed to extend to both the cost and the quality of the care being delivered.
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