One consequence of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is that it has shown a spotlight on what’s missing in the current business model of healthcare: accountability — for coordination of care, for outcome measures that are more demanding and meaningful, for evidence-based, cost-effective decision making at all levels — in short, accountability for better care at lower cost.

The release of CMS’s rules on ACOs has dampened enthusiasm for the concept, but it should not distract industry leaders from several underlying truths: 1) the current healthcare model is not delivering value consistent with its cost; 2) current costs are unsustainable; and 3) accountable care is an important part of the solution, with or without an ACO structure.

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