Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) represent the latest attempt to control escalating health costs by government central planning. Through financial carrots and sticks, doctors and hospitals would be â€śencouragedâ€? to merge into large provider groups to deliver medical care according to government â€ścomparative effectivenessâ€? guidelines.
This kind of nonsense has been tried in countless nations in Europe and elsewhere, and the result is always the same. Reduced access, lower quality and unhappy patients. Even worse, it doesn’t even control costs.
The President has often cited the Mayo Clinic as the kind of health care organization we should emulate. Well, guess what? Mayo has rejected the ACO concept for all the obvious reasons:
The Mayo Clinic said it could not abide by the Obama administrationâ€™s proposed ACO regulations. The American Medical Group Association (AMGA), the umbrella organization representing large medical groups including the prestigious Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, recently issued a statement characterizing the ACO guidelines as ‘overly prescriptive [and] operationally burdensome.’
Central planning doesn’t work folks. That’s why the USSR is gone and we’re still here. To read the rest of Dr. Hsieh’s column go here.