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The Path to Accountable Care

Health care systems around the world are increasingly focusing on accountable care, an approach that aligns health care payments with patient-focused outcomes. The goal: to increase the quality of care and improve outcomes while also slowing the growth of health care costs. Here are four important steps that policy makers can take to support the development of accountable health care:

  1. Focus on population health and wellness instead of just treating illness. In shifting the focus from activities to outcomes, health care providers must focus on preventive medicine, primary and community care, public health, and social and behavioral care.
  2. Pay for outcomes instead of activities. Consider applying episode-based models for measuring quality, outcomes, and resource use for prevalent, high-impact diseases.
  3. Create a more favorable environment for collaboration and the coordination of care. .
  4. Promote interoperable information systems so multiple providers and patients can share and have access to data in real time. Data should be integrated directly into the clinical workflow, helping patients track their own care.
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