Five separate groups of New Hampshire hospitals and other health care providers are forming "accountable care organizations" as part of a pilot program intended to keep patients healthy and costs down, Bloomberg Businessweek
reports. The program "attempts to tackle what many consider to be a big problem in the current system: having accountability spread across hospitals, doctors' offices, insurance carriers and employers with no one group responsible for the overall management of care." The health overhaul law calls for launching experiments like this in several states, and New Hampshire is positioning itself to get out ahead before the federal funding becomes available next year (Ramer, 7/15). The Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph
: Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua is one of the five test sites, The "Accountable Care Health Organization Pilot Project seeks to be competitive in getting a piece of incentive grants in the federal Obama health care reform law to reward providers that 'bend the cost curve.'" A Nashua hospital executive "said the aim is to change the mindset from numbers of patient visits and procedures to greater efficiency of care with better customer results" (Landrigan, 7/16). The Associated Press/WCAX
: "The project involves having selected organizations coordinate care for groups of people across the health care system, not just when the arrive at one facility. The participants, announced Thursday by Gov. John Lynch, include facilities serving the North Country, the Seacoast, Cheshire County, the Plymouth area and Nashua" (7/15).