In This Report

It is likely that anyone following the development of the ACO market in the U.S. healthcare systems has seen some version of the quote about how an ACO is like a unicorn: easily describable but never seen. And since the phrase “Accountable Care Organization” was first used in 2006, it now appears to be a new addition to the healthcare landscape. Regardless, we believe that this oft-repeated quote is simply not true.

Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) like Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic, as well as capitated medical groups in California, Illinois, and Texas, can lay claim to many years of practicing accountable care. Beyond these limited examples, an increasing amount of people will soon experience an ACO – in fact, a recent Oliver Wyman report estimates that upwards of 10% of the U.S. population will receive their care from one in 2013. In fact, in just two years risk-based care providers have gone from a minor piece of the 2,000+ page health reform legislation to a seminal driver of collaborative care across the healthcare industry.

These various types of shared savings and shared risk models are now well on their way to being tightly tied in with the future direction of the U.S. healthcare system.

Successfully managing care under these models requires integrated technology and workflow optimization capabilities which allow providers to better coordinate care beyond the four walls of the hospital. ACOs represent both a real chance to upend an increasingly dysfunctional payment system as well as an exciting new business opportunity for dozens of players across healthcare.

This report intends to provide some context and insight into what is enabling these organizational transitions, what the opportunity for these organizations really is, and which healthcare vendors are building businesses best-positioned to share in this new market.

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