Accountable Care Organizations
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are one way that were working to better coordinate your care. If your doctor has decided to participate in an ACO and you have Original Medicare, you'll be notified, either in person or by letter.
How ACOs work:
Local health care providers and hospitals volunteer to work together to provide you with coordinated care.
These "volunteers" have tasted the "stick" of reduced fees now they are going for the "carrot" of a share in the profits generated by medicare's UNILATERAL reduction of the quality-quantity of patient services. Literally "blood money".
The doctors and other providers who are helping care for you will communicate with each other, and partner with you in making health care decisions.
What "your" doctors are doing (knowingly or not) is optimizing their share of the profits and protecting themselves from possible "criticism" from their peers for being too generous with your bene's (thereby effecting the "bonus" rate). Have had doctors deny that this is peer review (may their "checks be in the mail" forever !).
You may spend less time filling out medical history paper work because your doctors may already have this information in an electronic health record.You'll likely have fewer repeated medical tests because your doctors and hospitals will share information and coordinate your care.You'll be in the center of care, and your doctors will be better able to keep you informed, and to keep listening and honoring (?) your choices.
With your medical records "the devil is in the details". As a general rule most medical records are a hodge-podge of handwritten notations made by physicians (who may have flunked penmanship in grade school). Every time these records get translated into digital data (generally by semi-skilled clerks who are paid by output volume), "stuff" gets lost and/or gained. My advice to those (especially chronic) patients admitted to "skilled" nursing facilities or hospitals, have a list of your current medications and carefully go over or have a trusted proxy compare your list with the pharmacy orders. If you cannot accomplish this, your medications are an odds on favorite to be screwed up with often "untracebally" fatal results sooner or later. Many hospitals (Cedars-Sinai for example) have "drug efficacy and safety committees" and have the power to overide your own physician's meds orders; it is best to review the meds list daily if possible. In the event the patient is suffering and is (or would be) desirous of absenting from their flesh bodies, then due diligence and conscience would dictate efforts on behalf of physical comfort rather than longevity. If you are diabetic and/or cardiac, following the dietary menu of most healthcare facilities, has disasterous results. High carb, high fat (they serve MARGARINE!) menus (especially in the "skilled" nursing facilities) do not fall short of attempted murder. Olympia Hospital in Los Angeles is an exception to the harmful diet rule(if you insist on suicide by knife and fork and your doctor goes along with it then that's your look-out)..God Bless their dietician !
Unlike HMO s, managed care, or some insurance plans, an ACO can't tell you which health care providers to see and can't change your Medicare benefits.
Male Bovine Excrement!
But Then Again
Perhaps this is a judgement on our societal-spiritual values ?