With the federal government poised to propose rules governing accountable care organizations, a broad array of public and private health care stakeholders has laid out a consensus on how to use ACOs and patient-centered medical homes to move toward the “triple aim” of better health, better care, and lower costs.

The report, Better to Best: Value-Driving Elements of the Patient-Centered Medical Home and Accountable Care Organizations, was released yesterday by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative in partnership with the Commonwealth Fund and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. It is the product of a year-long process that featured a September 8 “Consensus Meeting” in Washington D.C., which brought together a wide array of health care providers, purchasers, consumers, and thought leaders. The meeting was led by Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Susan Dentzer.Better to Best focuses on four themes, or “value-driving elements”: access, care coordination, health information technology, and payment reform. “The first two are elements of health care delivery that require urgent overhaul to maximize health outcomes at lower cost. The latter two are essential tools, without which new widespread implementation of new care delivery models will not succeed,” the report explains.

The report contains background papers discussing these four themes, which were presented at the September 8 meeting. Following that is a series of “Consensus Statements” that emerged from the meeting, each accompanied by recommended action steps. Said Paul Grundy, IBM’s Global Director of Healthcare Transformation and president of the PCPCC, in a statement: “It’s really powerful. It’s the first time there’s been such a broad agreement on a set of principles. There’s an understanding from providers about what they want to provide and a consensus among buyers that they want to buy what the providers are offering.”

The May 2010 issue of Health Affairs, Reinventing Primary Care, is cited prominently in the report. You can see presentations by Grundy and many others at the release event for the issue on the Health Affairs website.