DEFINITION of 'Accountable Care Organizations'
Healthcare providers that take a group approach to coordinating the care that patients receive. Accountable care organizations work to both improve care and save money in overall expenses by providing disease management services and other chronic care management options, while reducing duplicated care measures that often occur when a patient has multiple physicians and specialists.
BREAKING DOWN 'Accountable Care Organizations'
Guidelines for the establishment of accountable care organizations were outlined in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They help to facilitate an environment of cooperation between insurers, providers and medical treatment facilities, creating a network to assign patients to, which is similar to a health maintenance organization's network, but without the requirement that the patient stay within a certain network.