Medicaid ACO Checklist for Advocates


Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) have become more widespread as states look for innovative ways to improve health outcomes, control rising costs for Medicaid beneficiaries and improve health care quality. Consumer advocates can play a role in the design, implementation and oversight of Medicaid ACOs. Advocates can help ensure that ACOs meet the needs of and are accountable to the communities they serve, and that ACOs do not limit patients’ access to care as they seek to control cost.

Through ACOs, states are shifting financial risk and responsibility for patient outcomes to providers. Advocates should work to ensure this model of care is person-centered and community-responsive.

The Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation has created a toolkit to guide advocates as they assess and work with state’s Medicaid ACOs. Each section contains a list of items to consider as Medicaid ACOs are designed and implemented. Creating this type of system takes time and is an evolving process. The most fundamental part of each component is to ensure that the consumer voice is present. 

Authored by: Danielle Garrett, Leena Sharma, Kris Wiitala

Updated by: Rachel Isaacson and Emily Maass

January 2019