The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the creation of accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are defined as "an integrated group of providers that will be held accountable for the overall cost and quality of care for a defined set of patients. Under the law, ACOs that participate in the Medicare program would continue to be reimbursed under the fee-for-service system, but they would be eligible to share in any savings below benchmark cost levels, as long as they also meet quality performance standards."
NCQA released draft standards for ACOs. Various organizations such as the Federation of American Hospitals, American Medical Group Association, and the Campaign for Better Care commented on the standards, stating that until the government establishes rules for ACOs, any draft standards are prematurely developed. The groups also urged NCQA to draft standards that are focused on quality outcomes, rather than on how an ACO should be structured.
NCQA's draft standards can be found here:
AMGA's comments can be found here:
FAH's comments can be found here: