The health system in England is facing a number of challenges including an ageing population, an increasing number of people with multiple, long-term conditions and a difficult financial climate. To meet these challenges, more integrated approaches to care delivery are needed to improve both the quality of care and patients' experience.
More people now need care across a number of different settings – hospitals, primary care, clinics, nursing homes and home care agencies – which are not co-ordinated, resulting in duplication of cost and effort and gaps in information and communication. In the United States, accountable care organisations (ACOs) – a group of providers that take responsibility for providing all the care for a given population for a specified period of time – have been developed to provide a more integrated approach to care.
Accountable care organisations in the United States and England describes the different types of ACOs emerging in the United States; presents some early evidence on their performance; assesses the future for ACOs; and discusses the implication of these developments for integrated care initiatives in England.