One of the most significant lessons learned from our assessments is to think broadly. Many people have compared ACOs to unicorns, a creature that has magical powers but one that no one has ever seen. Across the country, health systems, insurers and governments are putting new systems in place that are beginning to show us what accountable care might look like. Applying accountable care principles beyond the Medicare market is essential if this country is going to reverse the out-of-control healthcare costs that threaten our fiscal health. The momentum is building across both the private and government sectors—even before Medicare ACOs become a reality.
Joseph F. Damore, FACHE, is vice president, Premier Consulting Solutions, in Washington, DC. Barbara Gray is vice president, Premier healthcare alliance's Partnership for Accelerated Care Transformation, in Charlotte, NC.