Where Do I Fit In?
I have now seen half a dozen times the animated YouTube video—you know the one—of the befuddled health care executive trying to figure out what an ACO is. It is played regularly, for comic relief, at board and management meetings. Laugh along, but don't be that guy. You need to decide whether your organization will be an ACO trailblazer or whether you will let others do the early experimentation while you focus on improving your System of CARE (Clinical Alignment and Resource Effectiveness) performance.
Either tack is valid, but be explicit and thoughtful about the strategic logic that leads you down your chosen path. In the final analysis, there is no one "right" way to approach the health care changes to come. Not everyone will, or should become an ACO, but every organization must build high-performance Systems of CARE.
Stephen Jenkins is vice president of SG2, a healthcare information company that provides advanced analytics, business intelligence, education and publications to hospitals and healthcare organizations in the US and around the globe.