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Issue Brief
April 2013

The Promise of Care Coordination: Transforming Health Care Delivery

By:
Amy Traver

The Affordable Care Act includes opportunities for creativity in health care coordination programs. Care coordination is the concept of health care professionals working with patients to ensure that patients' health needs are being met and that the right person is delivering the right care at the right time. Too often, patients are admitted to the hospital unnecessarily or given the wrong type of care, wasting money and time.

States now have the chance to design and test new models of health care delivery and payment with the goal of improving health outcomes, improving patients' experiences, and reducing health care spending.

There are many ways to approach care coordination. This brief shares the secrets of how to implement a successful care coordination program (whether it's an accountable care organization or a Medicaid health home) in your state.

As states explore new ways of structuring their health care delivery systems, advocates can and should play an active role. This piece explains what advocates need to know to ensure that these programs meet the complex needs of patients and improve care quality (instead of just reducing spending).