CT needs to monitor ACOs

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Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a growing part of CT’s healthcare landscape. But if you’ve never heard of them, you’re not alone. ACOs are large health systems run by providers, often including hospitals, doctors, home health, nursing homes, and other providers. It is estimated that 15 to 20% of CT residents have already been enrolled in an ACO and very few of us know it. ACOs are making decisions about what treatments and medications you get and, since patients usually hear from their provider about treatment alternatives, which options you even know about. ACOs have a bottom-line incentive to offer less expensive options because they profit when they lower the total cost of our care. In fact, that is the whole point of the model and why they are spreading. Unlike insurance plans, ACOs are not regulated or even monitored by government. Consumers generally know which insurance plan they are in and where to call if something they need is denied. Not so with ACOs. The CT Health Policy Project is calling on state policymakers to monitor and regulate ACOs to protect the public. MA and VT already regulate ACOs for their residents.

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