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Doctors in Dialogue: Three Experts on ACOs and Ophthalmology’s Future
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As a follow-up to last month’s introduction to accountable care organizations, we asked three physician experts to weigh in ACOs. Log in to join the discussion and tell us what you think of this new feature!

Background
Accountable care organizations could mark a major transformation in how health care is delivered in the very near future. ACOs are integrated groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers who have joined together voluntarily to coordinate care for a group of patients. The purpose of this coordinated care is to improve quality and reduce costs by eliminating any unnecessary duplication of services and testing. How ophthalmology practices will relate to this new model remains to be seen.

If, in effect, ACOs cap the dollars available for care, how will participating physicians distribute resources? And how will these limited payment pools affect the quality and type of eye services that ophthalmologists can provide? With an increasing shift towards accountability for cost and quality of care, what will participating ophthalmologists and physicians need to do differently to improve patient compliance between office visits and outside the hospital setting? And how will this integration among service providers affect referral patterns and the relationships between participating physicians?

ACOs Likely to Limit Physician Options, Be Implemented Slowly
Stephen Kamenetzky, MD
Academy adviser to the AMA’s Relative Value-Scale Update Committee (the “RUC”), which advises CMS on physician-payment rates. His opinions here are his own.
Stephen Kamenetzky, MD
Can Accountable Ophthalmologists Watch Over the 5,000 Hours of Everyday Life?
David Asch, MD, MBA
Executive director of the Penn Medicine Center for Innovation at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School and an expert on physician incentives.
David Asch, MD, MBA
ACOs May Change Referral Patterns, Relationships with Shift in Physician Accountability
Margaret Paroski, MD
Chief medical officer for a large health care organization managing several hospitals and associated with numerous specialist groups in western New York.
Margaret Paroski, MD

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