Are Accountable Care Organizations Improving Care for Medicare Patients?

The Medicare program is busy trying out new ways of paying for medical care that are designed to improve care and lower spending. One of the most important of these initiatives offers financial incentives to groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, known as Accountable Care Organizations (or ACOs), that agree to share responsibility for delivering medical services to their patients. The idea is that when providers coordinate their efforts they will be able to improve the quality …

Looking for a Medicare Doctor? New Ratings Can Help

Medicare patients have new help in picking a doctor, the federal government recently announced. Quality ratings for medical practices have been added to Medicare’s Physician Compare website, a national list of physicians and other health care providers who accept Medicare. “Patients and their families need facts to help them in making important decisions about health care, and choosing the right physician is one of the most important decisions they face,” says Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare …