New phrases for modeling health care are common. The Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model is designed as a tool for accountable care with some expectation of improving health care while trying to lower costs. More patient involvement is expected so they understand their responsibilities in the reform process. Payment emphasis will tie to outcomes rather than the historical fee for service process in place for many years.
ACO’s are the Accountable care organizations that are predicted to be responsible for the care of 130 million patients by 2017 and will create a billion in revenue for healthcare providers as they move into the ACO and PCMH model.
The sheer economics of the process force efforts to contain costs, avoid waste, and devise new payment structures. Bundled payments will become more common where a single payment will be made to cover the services of several providers performing managed care services to a patient. Providers will be assuming more risk to insure satisfactory outcomes. Much of that effort will rely on electronic medical records (EMRs) which are really still in their infancy.