What does all this really mean for your hospital or health system? Should healthcare leaders revisit the idea of establishing a Medicare ACO program?
Scratch that, No.
If you’re not sure, take comfort in the knowledge that even experts don’t quite agree on what these programs will and will not do for hospitals or health systems.
“It’s a step in the right direction because the innovation office is signaling flexibility around individual terms and conditions, and spending more time concentrating on the readiness of the afflicted organizations for the task at hand,” says Mark Lutes, senior member of the Washington, DC office of Epstein Becker and Green, P.C.
On the other hand, Nathan Kaufman, strategic director and founder of the San Diego-based Kaufman Strategic Advisors disagrees. “I don’t think these are helpful at all. The fundamental business fallacies that are baked into the [original] ACO regulations are still in the Pioneer regulations,” he says.
As with many new healthcare programs there are pluses and minuses for healthcare leaders to consider. A few positives of the pioneer program include, according to Lutes: