Alabama Physicians and Accountable Care Organizations: Will What We Don't Know Hurt Us?

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Abstract

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) were designed to improve the quality of care delivered to Medicare beneficiaries while also halting the growth in Medicare spending. Many existing health systems in the Northeast, Midwest, and West have formed ACOs, whereas implementation in Southern states has been slower. The study team conducted a survey of all physician members of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to determine the likelihood of their participation in an ACO and their attitudes toward some of the characteristics, such as quality measures, regulations, and risks versus rewards. The team found that many physicians reported a lack of knowledge about these areas. Physicians who reported that they were either likely or not likely to participate overwhelmingly held unfavorable attitudes about ACOs. It would be advantageous for Alabama physicians to become more knowledgeable about ACOs in the case that they become a more predominant form of care delivery in the future.

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