HHS' Sylvia Burwell: This Iowa town should be the role model for U.S. healthcare

Fort Dodge, Iowa, is a town of about 25,000 nestled alongside the Des Moines River. It is home to the state's first public art museum, two high schools, a community college and one hospital: UnityPoint Health-Trinity.

Fort Dodge's branch of the Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health System is also home to one of the first accountable care organizations in the country, according to a report in The Des Moines Register. The ACO work healthcare providers have done in Fort Dodge make it one of the nation's best examples of how to improve health while keeping costs low, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Ms. Burwell visited Fort Dodge Thursday to hear from local physicians, nurses and patients about their successes in healthcare. "We know that folks are depending on us to make more progress on affordability and on quality," she said, according to The Des Moines Register. "I'm here to visit today one of the great models of people accelerating the change that the rest of the nation needs to do."

What makes Fort Dodge's ACO particularly unique among other early adopters is that it managed to at least break even and stuck with the program through the first couple years, according to the report. Ms. Burwell told The Des Moines Register the collaboration in Fort Dodge between healthcare providers and other community agencies are part of what made it so successful.

Read the full report here.


More articles on accountable care:

Aetna, Gateway Health in Virginia strike ACO agreement
OneCare Vermont selected by state to be Medicaid ACO
Cigna, Calif. physicians group ink coordinated care contract

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