Commonwealth Fund / CHA Accountable Care Organization Evaluation

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With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the U.S.has embarked on major changes in the health care system. New models to address cost containment and quality are emerging including the patient centered medical home (PCMH) and the accountable care organization (ACO).

In May 2012, ICH was awarded a one-year grant from the Commonwealth Fund to conduct a case study of the Cambridge Health Alliance’s transformation into an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The overarching goal of the case study is to capture the process of ACO-PCMH transformation and the challenges involved for a safety net provider, extracting generalizable lessons learned for other safety-net systems.

ICH is collaborating with investigators from the Health Industry Forum at Brandeis University to conduct the study. A mixed methods approach will be employed, including interviews with CHA leadership and front line staff, an extensive review of internal document and an interrupted time series (ITS) analysis to examine the impact of global payment arrangement (GPA) on the total health care expenditures of a subset of CHA patients.