How Children’s Hospitals Can Gain Social Awareness Via ACOs

Originally published on Cornerstone, the CHOP Research Blog.

I composed this original article based on an interview with the investigator.


Five-year-old Jasmine’s family hears from her pediatrician’s office a lot more often than they used to, and they discuss topics ranging far beyond Jasmine’s health and development. That is because Jasmine (a fictional example) sees a doctor in a health network that has a different kind of contract with her insurance provider, designating it as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and as a result it takes a broader view of its role in preventive care than most.

Health policy experts anticipate that ACOs will improve population health under the Affordable Care Act, but demonstrating the value of pediatric ACOs remains a challenge. Policy researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are among those leading a public conversation about how pediatric hospitals and health systems can address social factors affecting health within ACO structures, now that some of the first research on the effect of pediatric ACOs on the use and costs of healthcare resources has begun to emerge.

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