Examining the Impacts of Accountable Care Organizations on Patient Experience, Population Health and Costs

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have been developed in the U.S. as a way to provide coordinated high quality care and keep costs manageable by replacing traditional fee-for-service payment models with pay-for-performance models that reward physicians, other healthcare providers, and hospitals for improved patient health outcomes. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has included many of the features of ACOs in its design of Health Links, which seeks to meet the needs of the top 5% of health systems’ users. With the aim of informing the evaluation of the Health Links model, we reviewed studies comparing ACOs to traditional fee-for-service payment models.