Katherine Schneider, MD, vice president of health engagement for AtlantiCare, believes that the idea behind ACOs ultimately is one of “seamlessness” of the patient care experience, and less about integration.
“This is really about transforming our organization from one that is built on volume to one built on value,” Schneider says. “This is not a pilot project. This is not about starting a new entity that can manage contracts. It is very broad. It is taking that business model of the past 100 years and turning it on its head, or at least on its side.”
Schneider says the patient side of the accountability equation is key. When AtlantiCare analyzed its own 8,500 self-insured employee population, it found that 1% of the population made almost a third of the claims, with another third of the claims coming from the next 9% of employees. So this year the health system began offering a new benefit design with an “engaged plan” that offered an average annual premium reduction of $3,000 if the employees agreed to annual preventive visits, cancer screenings, health assessments, wellness coaching, smoking cessation, and other programs. “Over 73% of employees chose the engaged plan,” he says.