As private exchanges move from streamlining the enrollment process to next phase initiatives such as improving cost and delivery, industry insiders see the integration of accountable care organizations as potentially the ‘next big thing' in the exchange world; one that could be a big win for employers.

ACOs are networks of providers, including doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals and facilities that tie provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for an assigned population of patients. The Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on quality of care and health care cost-cutting has given rise to new interest in the ACO delivery model, and industry insiders say private exchange operators are increasingly seeking to integrate the ACO model.

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