The New Era of Accountable Care: A Major Paradigm Shift

Hospitals have now entered the new era of accountable care. Accountability equals responsibility, and hospitals are becoming increasingly responsible for not only the care they provide, but for the health status of the populations they serve in their respective communities. This new era of accountability brings a heightened focus on quality, safety, and service to patients, and a new paradigm on population health management. Being responsible for the care of patients in the inpatient or outpatient setting isn’t anything new; however, hospital accountability for the patient’s health status before and after discharge is. Outcomes reporting and benchmarking; value-based purchasing; readmission penalties; community health needs assessment; and accountable care organizations are but a few examples of this new paradigm in action. Is your board and leadership team conversant with the implications this new paradigm holds for your hospital and its future? Are you discussing and developing strategies to respond effectively?-Steven B. Reed

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