Accountable Care Organizations, a Bridge to the Multicultural Insurance Market?

Oct 09, 13 Accountable Care Organizations, a Bridge to the Multicultural Insurance Market?

Accountable Care Organizations, a Bridge to the Multicultural Insurance Market?
By Martha C. Rivera, Director of Strategy and Insights
With the support of Anthony Gokianluy, Junior Executive

Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, are the less visible component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the health insurance news these days. ACOs, as created by the ACA, comprise distinct groups of providers that deliver coordinated long-term care and disease management to seniors and permanently disabled beneficiaries. The ACOs program aims to improve health quality while reducing the total cost of care under the Medicare program. While the ACA already stands to have a tangible impact on multicultural populations, ACOs can be an effective bridge between the US health care system and the newly-insured in diverse communities, who would likely have no prior experience navigating the health system and need culturally-relevant attention to partake in insurance plans.

Nearly one out of four Medicare users is multicultural, where Hispanics represent close to 8% of the total Medicare beneficiaries. ACOs should establish a presence within these multicultural communities, particularly to Spanish-speaking patients, to help overcome cultural and language barriers and effectively reach out to them, as their share of the insurance market is predicted to significantly increase under the ACA.

“ACOs are called to play a vital role in connecting with multicultural populations that the healthcare reform targets,” said George L. San Jose, president and chief creative officer at The San Jose Group. “ACOs can be drivers of increased enrollment in available insurance plans.”

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