Tracking, Classification, and Assessment of Accountable Care Organizations: Phase I

Project Overview

Initiatives stemming from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spurred rapid growth in the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs)—health care models that aim to improve health care outcomes while reducing care expenditures, potentially receiving a share of the resulting savings if certain goals are met.

As part of the ongoing evolution of health care reform, the number of ACOs and their characteristics has changed rapidly. Insight conducted a 2-phase research study for Optum Labs that sought to track, classify, and assess the characteristics of ACOs in the United States. In Phase I of its ACO tracking research, Insight conducted a study of the ACO landscape and the market factors that enable new care delivery models.

This study sought to answer 2 primary research questions:

  1. What health care organizations transformed into ACOs?
  2. What factors drive ACO formation and development?

This project included 4 components:

  1. Refine and develop a structural database in accordance with the needs and purposes of this study.
  2. Track and monitor the data collected through environmental scans and health care conference attendance to ensure the integrity and quality of the collected data.
  3. Analyze the collected data.
  4. Develop an issue brief and presentation suitable for presentation to Academy Health and for potential adaption for publication.

Core Activities

Environmental Scan; Database Development; Report and Presentation Development


Insight presented the outcomes of this study, “The State of Accountable Care Organizations: A Mapping and Assessment of the ACO Landscape,” at the 2012 Academy Health Annual Research Meeting.