by Frank Tiedemann on May 10, 2011

An open letter to Dr.Don Berwick,

Some genius in Congress was doing you no favor by naming the healthcare reform bill “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010” and nicknaming it PPACA (pronounced pea packa.) What a terrible name to stick on such an important piece of legislation.

Is it any wonder that the media is searching for a more descriptive shorthand label for the result? We have legislation with catchy names like NAFTA, RICCO, Medicare and Medicaid. So you won’t hear very many people refer to this bill by its acronym.

You were quoted calling it Affordable Care. Maybe you were having a bad day, but I encourage you to adopt what most of us are calling It. We call It Accountable Care because we like that formula. Accountability Is a very good thing In the minds of providers and the public. And’s it’s memorable, distinct, and so far has no negative associations. It shortens nicely to ACO. Best of all it suggest quality is the focus not price.

So I hope you’ll take this comment as a positive sign that folks in the real world are embracing Accountable Care. Now back to work improving quality and lowering the cost of care for all Americans.

Best Wishes,

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