Deep concerns about the ACO contract remain unaddressed

Full article in The HSJ, 3 April 2018

Government policy on Accountable Care Organisations remains confused and confusing. The Health Select Committee’s recent grilling of Simon Stevens and Stephen Barclay shed little light on critics’ concerns, while the relative responsibilities of the ACO and its commissioners remain murky, and subject to legal proceedings.

What is clear, however, is that ACOs will be responsible for deciding most of the issues that really matter to the public in the provision of health and care services. This will be even more the case if commissioning is on the basis of long term health outcomes. It will be ACOs which take the difficult decisions about thresholds for treatment that we know are currently pushing more and more patients to seek private treatment to avoid lengthening NHS waiting lists.