Accountable Care Around The World

A Framework to Guide Reform Strategies

By Mark McClellanStephen BealesSamuel CohenMichael James McConnellAndrea ThoumiMariam AbdulmalikAra Darzi, and James Kent

Health care systems around the world are increasingly focusing on The Accountable Care Organization, an approach that aligns health care payments with patient-focused outcomes and goals. The goal: to increase the quality of care and improve health outcomes while also slowing the growth of health care costs.

As part of its leadership in the field of value-based health care, BCG recently participated in an international working group of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), sponsored by the Qatar Foundation, to assess accountable-care initiatives. The results have recently been published in the leading health care policy journal Health Affairs.

The authors review leading accountable-care initiatives and develop a consistent framework, applicable across different national health systems, for characterizing and assessing such efforts. They also describe how policy makers can use this framework to map progress toward accountable care across increasingly sophisticated levels of reforms. Finally, they identify four key steps that policy makers should emphasize to support the development of accountable care:

  • Focus on population health and wellness instead of just treating illness.
  • Pay for outcomes instead of activities.
  • Create a more favorable environment for collaboration and the coordination of care.
  • Promote interoperable information systems so multiple providers and patients can share and have access to data in real time.