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ACO Service Industry Booms; New Poll Finds Spike In Support For Mandate

Modern Healthcare reports on the many companies that are lining up to play a role in the services, marketing and other related ventures to support accountable care organizations (ACOs). Meanwhile, Politico Pro reports on a poll released Monday that shows support for the health law's individual mandate is growing. Modern Healthcare: ACO Service Industry Blooms A rocky start to Medicare's approach to accountable care has done little to deter companies eager to market ancillary services and products to hospitals and medical groups. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's health plan and the Advisory Board, a consulting company, announced a joint venture last week to market accountable care technology and outsourcing services. In Minnesota, meanwhile, specialty benefit underwriters the Star Line Group, insurance brokers U.S. Advisors and consultants Ascendant Care said they would sell reinsurance to accountable care organizations in the Medicare shared savings program (Evans, 11/14). CQ HealthBeat: Can ACOs Deliver? NCQA Launches Program To Help Purchasers Decide The National Committee for Quality Assurance — an independent industry group that government and businesses rely on to better gauge the quality of health care — previewed a program Monday that it intends to launch next week to accredit accountable care organizations. Purchasers, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers, are likely to increasingly rely on ACOs to lower costs and improve quality in fee-for-service medicine. Analysts say health care is inefficient and poorly organized under that type of payment system and that ACOs are a way to begin coordinating services and improving quality (Reichard, 11/14). Politico Pro: New Poll Finds Spike In Support For Mandate Public opinion shift or quirky poll? A CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday found that support for the individual mandate — arguably the most contentious aspect of the health law — is growing, and a narrow majority now back it. The survey — released on the same day that the Supreme Court agreed to review the health reform law — found that 52 percent said they backed "a provision that will require all Americans who do not have health insurance to get it." Forty-seven percent opposed it, and 2 percent had no opinion (Kenen, 11/14).

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