How ACOs Are Slowing Healthcare Costs

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , December 12, 2012

For example, an employee with a single person plan working at a small firm had an average annual deductible of $703 in 2003; it's now $1,561. At a large firm, the current average annual deductible for a single person is about $500 less at $1,010. Eight years ago, that figure was only $452.

Schoen and Commonwealth Fund President, Karen Davis, both pointed to this year's historically low rate of growth in premium costs—just 4% as proof the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is working.

"In 2014, when the health insurance exchanges are set up with standardized plans that will allow comparison shopping, we can expect to see more savings for consumers," says Davis.

"The [PPACA] has been tested by the Supreme Court and the American electorate, and we can now move forward without hesitation to speedily implement the law to ensure everyone access [to] high quality, affordable, and secure healthcare."

According to Davis and Schoen, "moving forward" means more ACOs that are similar to the models that are either up and running or will be soon.

"What we are just starting to see is a response among private insurers to start to say 'no,' and bring in new ways of paying that would hold care systems accountable for the total cost of care with long term contracts," says Schoen.

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2 comments on "How ACOs Are Slowing Healthcare Costs"

Todd (12/14/2012 at 5:11 PM)
We do not all get care locally. People travel overseas for surgery all the time and more will do so in the future.

Jim (12/13/2012 at 10:04 AM)
La-La land at the Commonwealth Fund. Where is the proof? I've spent 44 years working in health insurance - there are pricing variations from year to year, and what we saw in 2012 were price increases that reflect an over-reaction of insurance pricing decisions made in the prior 3 years. Take a look at the pricing reactions for renewals in the first quarter of 2013 - those are proof that PPACA is working.




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