NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Accountable Care Organizations Face Tough Future

March 16, 2011

Policymakers in several industrial countries are seeking to limit the rise in health care cost growth by supporting coordinated or integrated care programs, which differ from most prevailing forms of medical organization in how physicians are paid and how they work in groups.  However, as long as fee-for-service payment systems remain an option, general practitioners will be reluctant to embrace coordinated care because it would give them less autonomy in how they practice, says Peter Zweifel, a professor of economics at the University of Zurich.

  • A Swiss study indicates that general practitioners will require a pay increase of up to 40percent before they are willing to accept coordinated care.
  • A similar study found that Swiss consumers wanted a substantial reduction in premiums to accept it.
  • These findings suggest that provisions of U.S. health care reform designed to encourage the growth of coordinated care -- such as accountable care organizations and medical homes -- may face a challenging future.

Source: Peter Zweifel, "Swiss Experiment Shows Physicians, Consumers Want Significant Compensation to Embrace Coordinated Care," Health Affairs, March 2011.

For text:


Browse more articles on Health Issues